Friday, June 12, 2009

Google eyes smaller firms to acquire

Google Inc is looking to buy smaller technology companies to enhance its technology portfolio, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in an interview with the Fox Business network

Schmidt said Google plans to focus on the cloud, mobile, and open source distribution of software in the next year.

"We have been (looking to acquire)," Schmidt said. "We have been wandering around looking at all of the different companies.

With the big ones we haven't come across anything we've particularly liked. We are definitely talking to a number of smaller companies but we've done that routinely." "We primarily look for technology. It's a typical build versus buy.

How long does it take us to build it with our engineers, versus there are already engineers in this other company that have built this thing."

The chief executive's statements come as the Internet search giant's growth slows from double digit percentages amid global economic turmoil and a sharp, industry-wide decline in advertising.

On Tuesday Google's green energy czar Bill Weihl said the company is closing in on its goal of producing renewable energy at a price cheaper than coal.

Google, known for its Internet search engine, in late 2007 said it would invest in companies and do research of its own to produce affordable renewable energy -- at a price less than burning coal -- within a few years.

The often-quirky company cast the move as a philanthropic effort to address climate change, but the work is done by a unit of the for-profit corporation, Google.org, and Google investors will profit from any breakthroughs.

Google's investment has been modest, so far. The company has put less than $50 million into clean energy start-ups, while the efforts of Weihl's group are probably about $10 million or $20 million.

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