It’s being reported this morning that Google is buying a “social calendar” for mobile devices called Plannr (we’re back to the heady vowel-free days). There have been a number of largely unsuccessful efforts to create group or social calendars in the past and there are several existing competitors in the segment, most notably Plancast.
The app itself is largely unremarkable and the acquisition may be about buying the small team (of two) behind Plannr. One can imagine a mobile-social event planning or calendaring tool being one of the many nodes of Google’s evolving and emerging social strategy.
But step back and look at the striking comparison of tech companies and their acquisitions in 2010 to date. Google leads with 23, Facebook has 6, Apple 5, Yahoo 3 and Microsoft 0.
According to the same firm, CBinsights, Google made five acquisitions in 2009, three in 2008 and 15 in 2007, the year of its greatest M&A activity until this year.
While many of these companies and their technologies may never turn into anything meaningful for Google, what does it say that it has so outstripped its immediate rivals in buying startups?