Google spurs M&A frenzy, eBay joins the fray

Google’s dominance of the search advertising, its ambitious forays into areas dominated by note-worthy tech and media giants, and recent acquisition of Doubleclick has set off a frenzy of M&A activity in the tech industry. The latest one to join acquisition-hungry pack may be eBay according to GigaOM’s Om Malik who reports,

eBay, the San Jose, Calif.-based auction giant is likely to announce its acquisition of Stumble Upon after the close to markets today, according to informed sources.

(I bet there are many who would give an arm, a leg, and then some..body part, to get access to Malik’s informed sources 🙂 )

Malik’s rationale for the deal is as follows,

Look at this from the toolbar-and-Skype lens. StumbleUpon makes a toolbar that provides collaborative serendipity to find web sites. The toolbar, if you ask StumbleUpon users provides more useful and productive results, than say Google.

By marrying the toolbar to Skype client, eBay can do an end run around Google’s dominance of the search business. A simple search box inside Skype client is all it would take. It is not that far fetched: Skype has been slowly integrating various different services (including PayPal) into its client, and slowly becoming eBay’s desktop backdoor.

Any technology, tool, or any derivative there-of, which allows $$$-endowed companies like eBay, MS, Yahoo! etc. to avoid having to deal with and compete directly with Google is and will be welcomed with open arms, even if it means paying obscene amounts of money for a small company like aQuantive.

I think that at end of the day, any move that benefits consumers by providing a better (finding) experience (even if it is motivated by deathly competitive streak) is a good thing. Dominance of any industry by one giant is just plain evil and not to mention, this recent flurry of activity keeps it fresh and interesting for those of us who are in the tech industry 🙂


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