Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google, Yahoo Going Shopping Again

big_spender_singleRemember the good old days of the last Web boom, when start-ups sold to Google and Yahoo instead of going public? They’re back!

Yesterday, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said she was in the market for acquisitions–specifically “small and medium-sized opportunities.” Today, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he’d use his $11 billion cash hoard to do the same thing. At the G20 gathering in Pittsburgh, Schmidt told reporters that now that “it’s clear that the worst is behind us,” his checkbook is open again. Reuters:

“Acquisitions are turned on again at Google and we are doing our normal maneuvers, which is small companies. My estimate would be one-a-month acquisitions and these are largely in lieu of hiring,” Schmidt said.

“There may be larger acquisitions, but they really are unpredictable,” Schmidt added.

And sure enough, Google has been on a mini-buying binge as of late. Last month, it was video compression company On2 for $106 million (though angry owners of the penny stock insist it should be for much more). Earlier this month, it was reCaptcha, the, um, captcha company, for an undisclosed sum. One decent bet for the future: Ad technology companies like Teracent.

Pretty sure I haven’t embedded any Bob Fosse clips before. Time to change that.


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle