Google, Apple, other tech giants cut acquisitions in 2015

Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter cut mergers and acquisitions last year over 2014, new research said. Microsoft, Amazon and Salesforce upped their M&A in 2015, according to analysis by CB Insights.

According to the research, the most profound drop in M&A took place at Yahoo, which acquired only a single company last year, compared to 19 in 2014. Google acquired 16 companies in 2015, compared to 35 in 2014, when it had the highest number of the eight companies spotlighted in the analysis. Apple cut its M&A by one, to 11. Facebook acquired five companies, from eight in 2014. Twitter slimmed M&A to eight from 11.

The five companies reducing M&A bucked a tech industry trend, another CB Insights report suggested. Globally, the tech sector saw 3,350 M&As in 2015, a 23% jump from 2014’s 2,720.

“It’s worth noting that Yahoo was the second-most-active acquirer in 2014, but pulled back sharply in 2015, not even making it onto our top-10 list,” CB Insights’ 2015 Global Tech Exits Report said. Yahoo’s solitary acquisition last year was social-shopping platform Polyvore, for $161 million. Yahoo’s purchase of  German online-advertising firm Media Group One, for $23 million, was revealed in 2015, but Yahoo had announced the planned purchase in late 2014, so it was included in data for that year, according to CB Insights.

However, global tech M&A slid in the second half of 2015, from 974 in the second quarter to 796 in the third to 700 in the fourth, the report said.

In CB Insights’ latest analysis of eight major tech players, Microsoft led in M&A last year with 18, compared to 10 in 2014. Amazon also increased M&A, but slightly, to seven from five, reaching its highest number over the past five years. At Salesforce, M&A rose to five last year over one in 2014.


Photo: Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)


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