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Failed Google Acquisitions

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Google has tried to take over various sites at some time or another. This approach makes sense, of course, as they can gain access to ready made turnkey operations and do not have to start from scratch – instead acquiring readymade and proven technology. However, not every company that Google has approached accepted the deals. There have been quite a few companies who have rejected lucrative Google offers, and while some faded into obscurity, most are still alive and well.

So who are the most well companies who rejected offers from Google? Let us take a look at the companies best known for turning Google away.


Friendster was one of the first companies to turn Google down flat, way back  in 2004. Google shrugged and created Orkut, which is one of the most popular social networking sites in India and Brazil. Friendster didn’t die, however – primarily a gaming network, it was finally acquired by Malaysian company MOL Global in 2009, and relaunched with a new design. IN August 2010, Facebook stated they had acquired 10 patents from Friendster.


Google made move to take over the local search market by purchasing Yelp, but to no avail.  The CEO walked out of discussions in DEc 2009. Google then began expanding their own Local Search. Yelp is now considered to be on the fast track to an IPO with projections targeting early 2013.


Lala was a music company which allowed users to stream music online. Google created a deal with Lala to help users discover new music in Google music search after Apple outbid them for the music platform and promptly killed it so it wouldn’t be a threat to their own iTunes.


Twitter has always been a target for Google as well as other major players such as  Microsoft and Facebook. Google and Twitter were supposedly in talks for a possible buyout, but Evan Williams held out under pressure and refused to sell – a smart move, as Twitter now has deals with both Microsoft and Google and it turning a profit.


In 2008, rumors were flying that Skype and Google are in talks for a partnership, but Google instead plunged into expanding and refining their own VoIP answer, Google Voice  – and also aquired Gizmo5 to round out their offerings.


Most recently, a bid to acquire Groupon failed. The discount, group buying site that allowed users to buy as part of a large group for local deals on products and services would have been a feather in Google’s cap, but it was not to be.

Google may eat up a lot of their smaller competitors, but savvy entrepreneurs have come to realize that if Google is knocking, their business is rocking, If they can grow fast enough to stay ahead of the curve and any alternate plan Google may have to develop their own similar site, selling out is the lesser choice.

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