Google spent $291M on acquisitions in Q1

$291 million on eight acquisitions in three months, with a focus on engineering and expanding its product offerings. But the devil is in the detail: the search giant warns of worries ahead.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Google spent $291 million on eight acquisitions during the first quarter, according to company filing with the federal government.

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Image: Google

From the company's 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google spent a mere 0.5 percent of its $50.1 billion cash that it reported during its first quarter of 2013.

Out of that, $150 million was attributed to patents and already developed technology, $133 million to goodwill, $24 million went on customer relationships, and $16 million to net liabilities assumed. 

In the filing, Google said: "These acquisitions generally enhance the breadth and depth of our expertise in engineering and other functional areas, our technologies, and our product offerings."

It's not so much that Google made acqusitions during the quarter — which included Channel Intelligence for $125 million, and Wavii for approximately $30 million, and four other firms that were not publicly disclosed — but that the company spent so much.

All acquisitions were completed during the three-month period between January and March.

Proportionally, it's only a fraction of what Google has in the bank. But in recent months Google has stepped up its mergers and acquisitions game again, following its major purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion — now around $13 billion in total following a continued restructuring effort.

But later in the filing, Google warned: "Acquisitions and investments could result in operating difficulties, dilution, and other harmful consequences that may adversely impact our business and results of operations."

Some of the areas that the search giant warned it could face troubles with is "failure to successfully further develop the acquired business or technology" — in other words, doing something with the product or service it acquires — and "litigation" — which Google knows all so well when it bought Motorola, as it also picked up a bunch of lawsuits in the process.

Also in the filing, Google said it generated 87 percent of revenue from advertising in 2012, while 85 percent in the three months ended March 31, as the search giant continues to expand its core advertising business into other areas, such as mobile.

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