Google has wrapped its tentacles around yet another aspect of digital life, announcing plans earlier this year to buy smart-phone giant Motorola Mobility. The 13-year-old search-engine company has a history of staying ahead through smart acquisitions. Here are its five largest (assuming the Motorola deal goes through):
1. Motorola Mobility, $12.5 billion: The deal would give Google a top-rate phone manufacturer and 17,000 patents – both important ammunition against Apple and Microsoft. That’s if the Feds approve the deal.
2. DoubleClick, $3.1 billion: Many websites, including the Monitor’s, partner with Google to provide display ads. DoubleClick tracks your interests to make those ads relevant to you. Worried about your privacy? Google lets you opt out or manually control your profile.
3. YouTube, $1.65 billion: What first seemed like a copyright quagmire has bloomed into a $1 billion business. Users now upload 48 hours of video each minute.
4. AdMob, $750 million: Google joined the smartphone game in order to get more people online more often. The return on investment comes from advertising, such as this ad network designed for mobile devices.
5. ITA , $700 million: Ever search for cheap flights online? ITA designed the software that lets Orbitz, Kayak, Bing, and ten major airlines scan, sort, and suggest the best travel options. Competitors balked at Google’s bid to buy ITA, but regulators eventually approved the deal.
For more on how technology intersects daily life, follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut.