Google makes a lot of waves when it dives into multi-billion dollar acquisitions, but can it capture the gold medal?
Google’s track record on acquisition integrations, from the two-person grad student start-up Dodgeball absorption, to the $1.14 billion dMarc Broadcasting radio advertising infrastructure take-over, does not match its search engine successes. Google is splashing around a $130 billion dollar market cap pool of under realized “strategic” acquisition plays.dMarc Broadcasting, acquired by Google January 2006
In “3 key questions for Google CEO Eric Schmidt,” I ask Google "How will you revolutionize the decades old radio industry via a legacy radio advertising company?":
Google AdSense for Radio is no typical Google “test.” Google has a lot riding on its radio bet; $1.13 billion to be exact. Google owns dMarc Broadcasting, for better or worse. In “Google AdSense for Radio: Google diversification win?” I question “How disruptive will Google’s work with dMarc Broadcasting actually be.”
Google acquired dMarc because of its existing track record in the broadcast space. According to Google:
dMarc connects advertisers and agencies directly to radio stations with a robust advertising platform that automates everything from sales to scheduling, delivery and reports. This enables advertisers to, among others things, purchase and track their campaigns effectively — and significantly reduce the costs associated with processing broadcast ads.
According to dMarc, through its Scott Studios and Maestro automation systems, it is already working with "thousands of radio stations in the US and abroad."
Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, describes AdSense for Radio as “essentially the integration of the dMarc Console and management tools into our advertising network.”
Schmidt discussed the status of its dMarc acquisition during last week’s Q2 earnings conference call:
The dMarc team itself is fully integrated. We’re expanding it both in engineering and sales. They’re on an integration schedule of about three months from now, so every week there are more milestones, and they’re working very hard. It’s very exciting.
The three months have come and gone, but no word on any Google AdSense for Radio progress.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt will have another chance at bat this week at the Q3 earnings conference call.
Dodgeball.com, acquired by Google May 2005
In “Google’s Dodgeball, where is it now?” I note that there hasn’t been much chatter about the two-person Dodgeball.com following its touted buy-out by Google in 2005:
Alex Rainert and Dennis Crowley transferred the rights to their start-up service to Google, but it is unlikely the two former grad students are living “like Kings.” As part of Dodgeball’s absorption by Google, the Dodgeball “team” became part of Google’s engineering team…
Today, Google lists Dodgeball as one of its services and describes it as “a networking service that helps coordinate location-based social interactions between mobile users.” In its description, Google links directly to dodgeball.com, rather than to any Google domain service.
A post last month at O’Reilly Radar expressed enthusiasm that “Dodgeball Gets a Short Code.” Commenters, however, did not seem to share the enthusiasm and discuss how the service has been seemingly left to languish.
YouTube, Google acquisition announced October 2006
Will the Google YouTube deal be a Google strategic acquisition success story?
YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen discussing integration “plans” with Fortune magazine:
Of interest to hard-core Google and online-video watchers is how YouTube will coexist with Google Video, the service inside the walls of the empire that YouTube thoroughly thrashed in the marketplace, necessitating this acquisition. According to Hurley, the two will remain completely separate properties.
"There's a lot of things that need to be figured out," says Hurley. "On our side nothing will change. If anything, our service will improve. They've built a great product. They'll decide how we fit in."
This will actually be interesting. Hurley says YouTube's integration into Google is yet to be determined. He says he doesn't know to whom he'll report or who Google's point person will be in dealing with YouTube. This from the guy who wasn't selling his company three weeks ago and who hasn't given a moment's thought to his newfound wealth.
On the subject of how long Hurley and Chen will stick around, Hurley is demonstrative: "Me and Steve are staying," he says. He won't say if he and Chen accepted earn-out provisions, a common technique when established companies buy fledgling ones”
Google’s acquisition track record also includes Orkut, Blogger…