Google Might Buy NBC, Dow Jones (Walmart, Amazon, Pepsi….)

How about this? Any time some major media company may be on the block, let’s make it a requirement that all media stories automatically insert a comment from some made up financial analyst suggesting that Google is thinking of buying the company too.

Maybe I’ve just had it. I mean, last week I read Google is interested buying NBC. Now via John Battelle, I read today that it wants Dow Jones.


If you look at only headlines, it’s easy to take these things too seriously. Let’s look at each story more closely, all of which come out of Bloomberg.

First there’s NBC:

Nicholas Heymann of Prudential Equity Group Inc. in New York said a company such as Google Inc. may be interested in buying NBC Universal as part of its effort to add to its mix of media offerings including YouTube.

Next there’s Dow Jones:

Washington Post Co., Gannett Co. and even Google Inc. may be interested, said Michael Chren, managing director of Allegiant Asset Management Co. in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

That’s it? A single analyst speculating "may be interested" is enough to get the Big G involved in a buy? And does anyone seriously think Google would want to end up owning the Dow Jones-controlled Wall St. Journal? That fits with the company how again?

Me, I’ll wait until Michael over at TechCrunch blogs on an acquisition rumor. These don’t even seem worth spending time on.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Acquisitions


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • dangerlarson

    Yeah, but what are we supposed to write about if we don’t have any verifiable facts?

  • ciaran

    This is the real story but because it’s about “old media”, it hasn’t seemed to capture people’s attention.

    Maybe if someone wrote a blog with the headline “MySpace to buy Wall Street Journal” it would get the blogosphere buzzing…..

  • Greg Jarboe

    Since September 2001, Google has acquired Deja’s Usenet archive, Outride, Inc., Pyra Labs, Neotonic Software, Applied Semantics, Kaltix, Ignite Logic, Picasa, Keyhole, Inc., Where2, ZipDash, 2Web Technologies, Urchin Software Corporation, Dodgeball, Reqwireless, Current Communications Group, Android, Skia, Akwan Information Technologies, dMarc Broadcasting, Measure Map, Upstartle, @Last Software, Orion, Neven Vision, JotSpot, YouTube, Adscape, Trendalyzer, Tonic Systems, Marratech video conferencing software, and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. So, it shouldn’t be shocking that a financial analyst speculates that Google may be in the hunt for Dow Jones. If there is a pattern to the kinds of companies that it does acquire, it’s hard to detect. What turned that speculation into a story was Google’s “no comment” when asked about their interest in Down Jones. In contrast, GE’s Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said GE isn’t interested in buying Dow Jones. So, Bloomberg was only reporting who said “no comment” and who said “no.”

  • geekmike

    You can say Google is to online media, what the Yankee’s are to baseball!

  • Greg Jarboe

    Danny was absolutely right! PC Pro reports ( a Financial Times reporter asked Google CEO Eric Schmidt if he would acquire a news organisation like Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

    Schmidt said no. “We made a decision to focus primarily on user-generated content, and not on businesses where we would own the content.”

    Schmidt reiterated Google’s oft-repeated stance that it sees itself as a technology tools maker, not a media content owner. He added that Google was better off partnering with companies that produce news and other content, rather than buying them.

    I’ve seen Danny “channel” Matt Cutts during his evening forum at Search Engine Strategies, but it seems that Danny can also channel Eric Schmidt. That is a very impressive talent.

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