Google has been in the press again recently regarding its attempted acquisition of Groupon the social consumer discounts group late last year.
The controversy of the buyout failure follows in the wake of the recent takeover of motorola smart phones and tablets which cost Google around $12bn USD.
The main questions that have been raised are around the valuation of the groupon business and the amount Google put forward for the offer.
The benefit of the Motorola buyout for Google is clear: by buying the smartphone and tablet arm of the motorola business google secures itself the ability to fully compete with apple in a manner not seen before in the open handset alliance.
It controls both OS development and the design of its own hardware for use with its android platform, thus cutting out the middleman and allowing better coordination between android developers and googles new hardware manufacturers.
Hopefully for consumers and fans of android in particular this will mean that the android platform will be better placed to launch a groundbreaking integrated system using spefically designed tablets and phone handsets which will allow increased functionality and coordination between said devices.
The reports initially varied and several red-herrings were quickly identified such as claims that the deal was already done for $2bn. However at the end of day when Google had its offer refused whispers were that the price had rocketed to between five and six billion US dollars.
This figure does seem outlandish and several analysts were quick to condemn the offer as "frivolous," and in one editors eyes "crazy (with a capital C),"
While it is true that Google is racking up the bill on its latest spending spree lets not forget that under its growing empire of interests lies a stash of cash reported to be in excess of $30bn in liquid assests.
Google now has its fingers in many pies including Social networking, advertising, television, internet hosting, cloud computing, social media and now thanks the moto sale: mobile software and hardware, tablet computing software and hardware. Not to mention the sweetner package of more than 17000 patents and patents pending: again from Moto.
The buyout of Groupon would have been the biggest and most expensive acquisition since DoubleClick in 2007 which cost an estimated $3.1bn.
Critics of Google's willingness to pay such high amounts at the drop of a hat are claiming that it is senseless waste of capital when other Groupon competitors could be bought at less cost and acheive the same ends.
In truth this has always been the most sensible option for a company like Google.
They are in a position to buy both the company and the brand name which means not only do they receive heavy word of mouth advertising and press interest in the buyout but they have to spend less on marketing too. Also when moving into a new market buying out a competitor almost always requires some level of business overhaul on acquisition to bring it up to a level of strong competition which will give the best chance of a return on your investment which will require yet more money and since google have the spare cash why not go for the market leader? Not to mention the acquisition of such a large proportion of the deal-of-the-day market share by acquiring the market leader giving google less need to promote whatever aspirations they have for Groupon.
The same applied when they bought out YouTube. Why go after a cheap dying goose that lays silver eggs and spend a shed load of money nursing it to health and gold plating its eggs when you could just buy the golden goose?