Google's Acquisition Machine Sucks Up Jambool, Is Like.com Next?
Google (GOOG), which is snapping up roughly one company every couple of weeks and rivals Oracle (ORCL) in the merger-mania mode, definitely subscribes to the buy versus build philosophy for rapid growth. Its acquisition of Jambool will accelerate its move into online gaming, bringing with it all the challenges that come with keeping users glued to a website to play addictive games.
Jambool, which on Friday touted the Google deal, provides a technology platform that allows online game developers to create virtual currency, along with virtual goods and services. The deal is Google's latest effort to expand into online gaming, which according to TechCrunch, includes a $100 million investment in online games developer Zynga, maker of the hugely popular FarmVille game.
As Google expands into new market segments, it's also fortifying those areas it already dominates against increasing competition from the likes of Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing.
Google is reportedly interested in snapping up Like.com, which provides the capability to do visual searches of similar products off its website. That technology could enhance the Google Images search site, which allows users to search on such subtle things as a leopard with similar spot patterns.
For Google, a Like.com acquisition would aid its efforts to temper a Microsoft Bing advance, as the software giant's revamped search engine wins more interest among consumers. And the Jambool deal, meanwhile, puts it in the game to grab more eye share among online gamers and the social networking ecosystem that encompasses that sector, aka Facebook.