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)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Sony Outlook

Tech Showcase

Internet Governance

Internet Governance

At China online coming-out party, Beijing spells out Internet control ambition  Full Article 

Tech Monopoly

Tech Monopoly

EU digital tsar warns monopolists; Google foes play down call for break-up  Full Article 

Tencent-HBO Deal

Tencent-HBO Deal

China's Tencent partners with HBO for TV show streaming  Full Article 

Samsung Investment

Samsung Investment

Samsung Electronics wins $3 billion Vietnam project licence  Full Article 

Microsoft sues IRS

Microsoft sues IRS

Microsoft sues IRS for details of probe on internal transactions  Full Article 

Cold Hard Facts

Cold Hard Facts

Underwater robot measures Antarctic sea ice  Full Article 

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

Digital tsar urges Europe not to weaken net neutrality rules  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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