Infographic: Google's 102 Acquisitions Over the Last 11 Years

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Google's recent acquisition of Motorola for more than $12 billion shocked the tech community. The search giant has spent years building up a huge pile of cash -- enough cash to make a $12 billion purchase possible a few times over -- but it's finally putting it to use. The Motorola purchase brought Google's acquisitions strategy into the spotlight and it's finally become clear just how much Google is buying up: Over the past 20 months along, the company has purchased more than 44 others.

"[W]hat's [Google's] buying tells you a lot about U.S. innovation" and the company's strategy, according to Fast Co. Design's Cliff Kuang. "They've been buying a lot of smaller companies, in their ever-evolving quest to dominate the online ad market and shore up their defenses against disruptive innovations or nagging patent lawsuits."

Kuang also calls out the information presented in the second half of this infographic developed by Woork up's Antonio Lupetti, arguing that Google's decision to acquire more than 70 companies based in the U.S. shows how Silicon Valley remains the "greatest innovation engine known to man."

Infographics are always a bit of a hodgepodge of statistics culled from a variety of sources. Here, we sort through the clutter and pull out some of our favorite facts and figures:

  • The acquisition of Motorola for $12.5 billion on August 15, 2011, is Google's biggest. But it's not the only big spending the search giant has done over the past 11 years. In 2007, Google purchased DoubleClick, an online advertising company for $3.1 billion. In 2005, Google bought a 5% stake in AOL for $1 billion. And a year after that, in October 2006, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion.
  • Over the past 11 years, Google has acquired all or part of more than 100 different companies. Most of those (74) were based in the United States, but another 28 were based outside of the U.S. in places as varied as Canada (6), Germany (4), the United Kingdom (4), Australia (2), and Israel (2).
  • Breaking down the Google acquisitions by year shows, clearly, that the company has been purchasing more companies in recent years. In 2001, Google bought two companies. In 2010, that number peaked at 26. The search company could surpass that number this year: As of mid-August, Google has already acquired 18 different companies.

Check out more Infographics on the Technology Channel.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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