Google and Sun Microsystems: The Costly Non-Purchase

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Google has passed up a few potential buys that, as has been proven by history, it absolutely should not have passed up. Facebook, for example? And while Google has had some great success in certain purchases, such as AdMob and Android, it seems that “buy more” should be the rule of thumb for the company. One choice that may have cost them billions is not buying Sun Microsystems.

Sun would have cost Google big bucks. That’s $7.4 billion to be precise. But that cost would have given Google rights to a very important set of technology: Java. The coding language, especially in its more open sectors, is used extensively by Google – and having rights would have increased maneuverability while, you know, preventing the massive lawsuit from Sun’s current owner.

Oracle, who bought out Sun Microsystems when Google didn’t, is in the process of suing Google. While the case has been ongoing for just under a year, the exact scale became apparent when Google attempted to file the case “under seal” (preventing the records of the case and hearings from becoming public). Oracle responded by saying the information was something the public should know, especially since the figures Oracle was seeking in damages reached into the billions.

No, that wasn’t a typo. That’s a big, shiny B at the front there. So, while Sun Microsystems would have cost Google billions, it looks like not making the choice may end up costing about the same. The difference is that Google now has to struggle through future licensing issues, the court case itself, and they still don’t have the full strength of the technology at their disposal.

It may be that Google didn’t make the purchase because a $7.4 billion buy simply wouldn’t have been allowed after the inevitable anti-trust hearing. In any case, however, it looks like not owning Sun Microsystems costs just about as much as buying it.

[sources include: ZDNet]


Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in 2002. His work as an SEO consultant since 2006, and subsequently to content writing for technology and internet-focused publications, has done nothing but fuel this passion.
Rob D Young

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  • Mahendra Sharma

    Decisions are not right or wrong, only the time proves them right or wrong 🙂
    Google thought they are saving money by not buying Sun and they thought it was right decision but now that Oracle bought it, They are going to go after Google for using their Java based technology. Its because Google is The Google now, Oracle wants to go after them otherwise there are millions of applications using Java, Oracle won’t even care for those 🙂

  • Johans

    JavaScript – that should be java.

    • Rob Young

      Completely correct. That would be my error; I’m from a coding background, and I let my verbiage go on autopilot. It’s corrected now.

  • Enovabiz

    JavaScript? I think you got it wrong. You should have said “Java” 😉