Google to buy satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500 mln

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:35am IST

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Files

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir/Files

Stocks

   

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOGL.O) (GOOG.O) said on Tuesday it is acquiring satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, the Internet company's second high-profile acquisition of an aerospace company this year.

Google said that Skybox's satellites will provide images for Google's online mapping service. Google, the world's No.1 Internet search engine, said that Skybox's technology could also eventually be used to provide Internet access and help with disaster relief.

The acquisition of the five-year old company comes as Google and rival Facebook Inc (FB.O) are racing to snap up satellite and drone companies in an expensive effort to expand the reach of their businesses.

In April Google acquired Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based maker of solar-powered drones, for an undisclosed sum. Google has also launched a small network of balloons designed to deliver Internet access over the Southern Hemisphere.

Facebook, the world's No.1 Internet social network, announced in March that it had created a special "Connectivity lab" project tasked with developing satellites, drones and other technology that could be used to beam Internet connectivity to people in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Skybox has built satellites packed with sensors and camera electronics that take high-resolution images and video of the earth but which it says are smaller and lighter than traditional satellites. The company, which like Google is based in Mountain View, Calif, has launched one satellite and had planned to launch a constellation of 24 satellites, according to the company's website.

"The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision," Skybox said on in its Website on Tuesday in a message announcing the deal with Google.

Google said the deal's closing is subject to regulatory approvals in the United States.

Shares of Google were down less than 0.5 percent at $568.07 in midday trading on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Peter Henderson)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tech Results

Reuters Showcase

Cyber Attack

Cyber Attack

China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud - blog.  Full Article 

Fat Paycheck

Fat Paycheck

New Microsoft CEO Nadella's pay tops $80 mln with big stock awards.  Full Article 

Court Case

Court Case

Facebook sues lawyers for pursuing dubious Ceglia lawsuit.  Full Article 

Online Security

Online Security

Wall Street urges U.S. regulators' joint cybersecurity approach  Full Article 

Facebook Stake

Facebook Stake

Fidelity Contrafund loads up on Facebook and it pays off  Full Article 

App for Kids

App for Kids

New apps bring kids' playtime back to real world  Full Article 

'Robotic Eyes'

'Robotic Eyes'

Helps Japan's bipedal bot run faster.  Video 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage