last week, the Federal trade Commission (FTC) decided to check the observance of Antimonopoly legislation in the United States and called on Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to disclose all the acquisitions of small companies in the period from 2010 to 2019. The FTC is interested in the structure, amount and purpose of the transactions, which were not previously reported antitrust authorities.
“This initiative will allow the Commission to get acquainted with acquisitions in this important sector and to assess whether the Federal agencies adequate notice of the transactions that may harm competition. This will help us to keep technology markets open and competitive for the benefit of consumers,” — said in a statement, FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.
Despite the fact that this request was formulated as a study, Simons made clear that in respect of companies can be accepted regulatory measures. Here are a few examples of deals and acquisitions that may be of interest to the regulator.
Acquisitions of holding Alphabet:
theAardvark ($50 million)
Acquired in 2010 and closed after only a year, Aardvark allows users to ask questions and receive answers from subject matter experts via live chat or email. But after purchase service, Google has done little with it, moving the majority of employees of a startup to work on Google+. However, at the time the service was innovative and paved the way for future projects, including Quora and Superpod – latest Google also acquired in January 2019.
DocVerse ($25 million)
DocVerse allows users to use plug-in for Microsoft Office applications to write and edit documents together in real time. Just a year after acquiring the company in 2010, Google shifted the DocVerse team on the creation of Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, freeatogo plugin with the same functions for Office users. Although work Google Cloud Connect was discontinued in 2013, many of the features of Cloud Connect was moved to Google Drive.
Superpod (60 million dollars)
As Aardvark, Superpod were compared users ‘ questions answered by experts on a wide range of topics. After startup bought by Google in 2019, a Superpod announced the closing, and the team went to work on some “big project” in Google.
In June 2014, Amazon launches Music Service Amazon. Three months later, the company acquires the popular indie competitor Amie Street, and the traffic directed to the Amazon. The online giant even offered the users of Amie Street coupons for $ 5 to spend in Amazon Music Service. The business model Amie Street, by contrast, used the pricing based on demand. Songs were free to download, but they became as expensive as many people downloaded the track.
Amazon has acquired Sizmek to compete with Google in the advertising space. In an article in AdAge, announcing the news, one expert suggested that regulators may be interested in how the tech giant benefits from the sale of advertising that directs buyers back to Amazon.
Metaio (32 million dollars)
the Company Metaio has developed a platform for developing applications of augmented reality (AR) and closed immediately, after Apple purchased the company in 2015. In 2017, Apple introduced ARKit, a private platform for developing AR applications.
Apple has acquired a Gliimpse in 2016 and quickly disconnected the service. The company has developed a platform that allows users to track and manage your own data on the health and btopasna share them. Similar platform builds and Apple’s HealthKit initiative.
Previously, HopStop has released one of the most popular navigation apps on the devices running Android, iOS and Windows, with transit information for hundreds of cities. In 2012, Apple abandoned Google Maps on iOS in favor of their own proposal. She has acquired HopStop in July 2013, a few days later turned off support for Windows, in September, refused to Android and completely shut down the app by 2015. It integrated most of the data in Apple Maps in iOS 9, released in the same year.
Polar Rose (28.23 million dollars)
Polar Rose made plugins that allow users to automatically find and detect the faces in photo albums Flickr and Facebook. The service was closed after the startup was bought by Apple. The Photos app on devices running iOS and Mac can now tag faces in a similar way.
VocalIQ (75 million dollars)
Apple bought a lot of companies that are developing the technologies of voice recognition to improve your digital assistant. VocalIQ helped to make a voice interaction with an artificial intelligence more natural. Apple also acquired other companies working with artificial intelligence systems, including Pullstring, Turi, Tuplejump and Emotinet.
Facebook has acquired the service, a group messaging Beluga in 2011, when desperately trying to get into the mobile segment. Beluga was developed by mobile systems of communication between groups of users. Facebook initially claimed that a separate app from Beluga will continue to work, but it lasted only until the launch of its own Facebook Messenger app.
Gowalla ($3 million)
Facebook failed to buy Foursquare therefore, acquired its nearest competitor — the company Gowalla. When three months later, Gowalla has closed its CEO reportedly working on an API for Facebook, which allowed developers to include location data in their applications.
Microsoft has announced in 2017 and the acquisition of Intentional Software, founded by one of the leaders in software development of Word and Excel, Charles Simonyi (Charles Simonyi). Intentional Software specialized in the creation of tools that simplify programming. In recent years, Intentional Software was engaged in the creation of tools for office applications to work together.