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Google’s Acquisition Strategy

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Internal growth strategies tend to rely on actions such as hiring more employees, growing the customer base, opening new company-owned locations or developing new products through internal research and development. External growth strategies tend to focus on meeting growth objectives by establishing relationships with third parties, such as strategic-alliance partners, licensees, franchisees and co-branding allies.

For example, When Google Inc. quietly bought a software shop called Android Inc., neither the suitor nor the quarry revealed much about the terms of their attraction. Google never said how Android, a 22-month-old start-up that described itself solely as a maker of software for mobile phones, would fit into its grand strategy. Yet Android was typical of the acquisitions made by Google: a modest firm with niche expertise to help the Internet giant build on its core businesses rather than strike into wholly new frontiers. Most of Google's purchases have been so small as to barely attract notice, and the company has done little to highlight them. But taken as a whole, the company's record of acquisitions offers a few signposts toward its future.

In the two years since Google went public, the company has bought at least 15 enterprises, including four start-ups that specialize in mobile software, a clear signal of Google's interest in bringing search and other Web-based services to mobile customers.

Companies can learn from this example, and make strategic acquisitions to support their vision (Google’s Vision Statement – “To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible”).

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YouSigma. (2008). “Google’s Acquisition Strategy." From http://www.yousigma.com.

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