Hotel Search Upgrade: Google Licenses Room 77 Platform

Room 77 Despite its controversial $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA several years ago and the launch of Google's Hotel Finder site, Google has yet to emerge as a force in online travel. That may all be about to change. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Google "is licensing hotel-booking software from Room 77 Inc." The news site also reported that "Room 77 co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Calvin Yang and many of its engineers are joining Google." Room 77 is a travel metasearch site like Kayak, only better in my experience. It only focuses on lodging however. The Bl [...]


DeepMind Buy Another Google “Moonshot” Of Sorts

DeepMind logo Re/code offers some additional insight into the $400+ million acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) startup DeepMind that was reported last week. The people at DeepMind will apparently work with the search team at Google but not exclusively: Or as search is known at Google today, the “Knowledge” group, so-called because it no longer just finds keywords on web pages, but instead connects larger concepts. Knowledge is led by Google SVP Alan Eustance, but DeepMind will work closely with a team led by Jeff Dean, a near 15-year Google veteran, best known for his work on distributed syst [...]


Google Delays Second Campus Construction, Buys More Space Near GooglePlex

google-g-logo Two stories out this week are drawing attention to Google's future office expansion plans. Days ago, we reported on our partner site at Marketing Land that the construction of Google's new Bay View campus has been delayed temporarily. Today, there is news that Google has purchased nearly 15-acres in Palo Alto, a portion of which is just over two miles from the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View. More details about the Bay View campus construction delay and Google's latest 15-acre real estate purchase can be found on our Marketing Land site at: Google Slows Down Bay View Campus C [...]


Google Officially Buys Waze, Will Integrate Technologies

Waze logo Google announced they've officially acquired Waze, the popular app based social driven mapping technology. This was expected and the rumors are Google paid $1.3 billion for the Israeli startup company. The big questions are (1) will this acquisition be allowed and if so (2) will Google allow Waze to be an independent product and brand? Google did imply that Waze will eventually be brought into Google Maps completely, saying the software and company will "operate separately for now." Google also said they are "excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic [...]


Will Google’s Expected $1.3 Billion Waze Acquisition Be Allowed?

Waze logo Early yesterday, Israeli business website Globes.co.il said that Google will acquire social mapping app Waze for $1.3 billion. That report has subsequently been all-but-confirmed by others, including the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which said the announcement could come this week. The WSJ said that by size Waze would constitute Google's fourth largest acquisition, assuming it comes to pass. I argued yesterday on my personal blog Screenwerk that among the range of parties interested in Waze Google needed it least. (Facebook and Apple would benefit far more from it.) Part of Google's mot [...]


Google Buys Channel Intelligence For $125 Million

google-shopping-featured Google has acquired retail feed management provider Channel Intelligence (not to be confused with Channel Advisor) for $125 million. The company counts major brands and retailers among its clients. Channel Intelligence (CI) offers a range of services built around data management and product feed optimization. It lists Target, Philips, HP, Neiman Marcus and Best Buy among its customers and says it works with 850 retailers on a global basis. The conventional line on this acquisition is that it will better help Google Shopping compete with Amazon and eBay. CI was a launch partner of Goog [...]


Zagat Take Two: Google To Acquire Frommer’s Travel Guides

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 at 9.11.53 AM Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is selling the Frommer's brand, publications and content to Google. Terms were not disclosed. Frommer's is the publisher of the venerable travel guide, website and related content. Frommer's was founded by Arthur Frommer in the 1950s and became popular because of its budget travel guides. According to the press release: On August 10, 2012, Wiley entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets, including all of its interests in the Frommer's brand, to Google. Proceeds from this sale, and others that may arise from the sale of oth [...]


“Googler Killer”, Cuil, Patent Applications Acquired By Google

Googler Killer, Cuil, which launched in June 2008 and went defunct in September 2010, have had their patent applications acquired by Google. Bill Slawski spotted the transfer of ownership of these patent applications this morning. The patents transfer to Google from Cuil include 20090240672, 20090240685, 20090241044, 20090241018, 20090241058, 20090241065 and 20090241066. This is not all that surprising, being that one of the co-founders, Anna Patterson joined Google the same month Cuil went offline. Related Stories: Cuil Goes Offline, Future Not So Cool Anna Patterson, Cuil Found [...]


Larry Page “CEO Of The Year” — Investors Business Daily

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 6.30.36 AM When Larry Page took over the CEO role at Google last year the company was doing well. Now it's doing better and so Investor's Business Daily has named him "CEO of the Year." The publication summed up its rationale as follows: [Page] reorganized the company's management structure, redesigned the face of the company's products and pushed forward with a multibillion dollar deal to acquire a cellphone manufacturing outfit. He also launched two other products aiming at Groupon, the leader of online coupons, and Facebook, the top social networking site. Google (GOOG) in the past two quarters [...]


Google Buys Clever Sense: An Answer To Siri?

Screen shot 2011-12-13 at 11.31.39 AM As is being widely reported Google has bought startup Clever Sense, which earlier this year launched the local-mobile recommendations app Alfred. Alfred is like "Pandora for the real world" and was dedicated to creating a comprehensive "interest graph." Clever Sense assigns or maps physical places to one another based on styles, characteristics and attributes in the same way that Pandora does for music. However this process is all done by "artificial intelligence." Here's how Clever Sense itself described the functionality behind Alfred: The Extraction Engine built into the Clever S [...]


Google Acquires Katango ‘Magicians’ To Improve Google+ Circles

google-katango Finding it too much hassle to organize your friends and contacts into circles on Google+? Google may have a solution on the way, thanks to the company's acquisition of Katango. Katango launched this past summer with an iPhone app that automagically organizes Facebook friends through an algorithmic approach that looks at profile information, past interactions with friends and the interactions friends have with each other. Google+ Product VP Bradley Horowitz just confirmed the acquisition in a post on Google+, saying In the earliest days of Google+, I alluded to the fact that we had bi [...]


Google Travel Search Takes Flight With First ITA Travel Product

google-ita-featured Google has made what amounts to a promising downpayment on more ambitious travel search tools with its new Flight Search, debuting today. Launching initially for a select group of US cities Google users will have access to an expanded range of airline search options and a much more verticalized experience than has been available in the past on Google. This is the first product to emerge from Google's controversial acquisition of travel software company ITA, which closed in April and included concessions and guarantees to existing ITA customers such as Kayak, Microsoft, Orbitz, Hotwire and [...]


Google Buys Zagat Ratings, Rocks Local

google-zagat-featured Google is buying the venerable Zagat survey, which is the original local reviews provider and has been in business for more than 30 years. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Rumor had it that Zagat has been "on the block" for some time, as the company increasingly struggles to compete in a world that has moved away from print. This is huge news for Google (capital "H") and for local. Google is a content publisher now and the content that Zagat brings arguably closes the gap between Google Places and Yelp. We'll have to see the implementation. Zagat's subscription-based business model h [...]


China: Not So Fast “Googlerola”

Major international mergers and acquisitions typically must be approved by regulators in multiple jurisdictions before they can be consummated. As a practical matter this has historically meant North America and Europe for most Western companies. But as more US-based and European companies expand into China the Chinese government is increasingly getting in on the action. It seems that Google has so far has neglected to inform Chinese regulators of its intention to buy Motorola (for $12.5 billion) and seek their approval accordingly. Reuters explains that "under Chinese laws, enterprises tha [...]


Google & Motorola Mobility: The What’s It All Mean Edition

google-motorola-featured What a way to start the week. The company that once said it would never build its own mobile phones, Google, wants to buy mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility. The technosphere has gone into 5G coverage over the news. Here's what I've been finding interesting and some thoughts. Patent Protection A big part of this is about patents. You might recall two weeks ago that Google make a big stink that Microsoft and Apple were, in Google's view, trying to chop off Android's big head with a patent guillotine. Our background coverage, on that: Google Lashes Out Against Apple, Microsoft Patent " [...]


In Antitrust “Complaint Du Jour” French Daily Deals Company Files Claim Against Google

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com In what is becoming a steady parade of antitrust claims against Google in Europe, another complaint has been filed by a French company. This latest (10th) antitrust complaint was filed with the European Commission by a French daily deals site called "Deal du Jour." The company claims "Google illegally removed its site from its web index without any justification [and] blocked it from using its Adsense advertising service," according to Reuters. (See postscripts below for clarification on the nature of the claims from the company.) I haven't read the complaint or have factual information [...]


Google Receives DOJ Request for Additional Info On AdMeld Buy

Google has acknowledged receiving a "second request" for additional information from the Department of Justice, as it continues to review whether the company's planned purchase of AdMeld would impede competition in the space. In a blog post, Neil Mohan, VP of display advertising, noted: "This doesn’t surprise us, as today’s display advertising industry is very new and highly complex." The company used the opportunity to trot out its arguments on why it believes there's plenty of competition in display advertising, implying that the DOJ should approve the transaction. Mohan wrote t [...]


Punchd Acquisition Builds Out Google SMB-Products Suite

Last week Google bought a company called Punchd (first reported by TechCrunch). It was a small acquisition but may turn out, in several respects, to be more significant than it looks. Loyalty Card on a Smartphone Essentially Punchd enables small businesses (SMBs) to run loyalty programs on smartphones, very much like paper punch cards (e.g., every 10th latte is free) -- hence the company's name. The customer gets the loyalty card on her phone and each visit is recorded and tracked toward some freebie. The company uses GPS to verify users are in the store and protect against cheating. Punc [...]


Confirmed: Google Buys Admeld For Large Publisher Ad Management

Google today confirmed the acquisition of display ad management firm Admeld, which we and others reported last week. Though Google didn't disclose how much it paid for the buy, various news outlets said the deal was worth $400 million. Admeld provides technology and services that help large publishers optimize the inventory they're offering, plugging into ad networks and demand-side platforms to assist publishers in maximizing yield. "The Admeld team is an example of the huge strides the industry is making—it has quickly developed a great service that is helping many major publishers m [...]


Report: Google Acquires Ad Optimization Firm Admeld for $400 MM

In an apparent move to bolster its own ad sales efforts and provide services to large publishers, Google has reportedly made a $400 million purchase of Admeld, a company that builds technology to help ad sellers maximize the value of their inventory. Admeld has relationships with the Weather Channel, IDG TechNetwork, and large newspaper companies like The New York Times Company, Hearst, Tribune and Gannett. The TechCrunch story reporting the acquisition cites "multiple sources." Google representatives said the company doesn't respond to "rumor or speculation." Admeld was founded in 2007 [...]


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