Predicting Acquisitions for Google is Foolish (CNET, GOOG, HOLL, IVIL, KNOT, MIVA, NAPS, RNWK, TIVO, TWX)

by: David Jackson

The Motley Fool's Rick Aristotle Munarriz identifies a list of companies that he thinks Google will -- or at least should -- acquire. Due to its secondary offering, Mr Munarriz points out, Google has over $7.6 billion of cash on its balance sheet. "With 99% of its revenue coming from advertising, Google can either broaden its reach by scooping up more virtual billboard space or try to diversify its egg basket by making inroads in software and services." His Google shopping list, Part 1, is: Tivo, CNET,, iVillage, and Part 2 is Hollywood Media, Napster, Real Networks and Miva. (Full disclosure: I'm short CNET and long HOLL at the time of writing.)

But everyone who predicted that Google would acquire public companies has been wrong so far. After Google's secondary offering, the sell-side was awash in speculation of potential acquisitions, despite an explicit statement from Google CFO George Reyes that the company wasn't interested in large acquisitions. Sure enough, Google hasn't acquired a single public company since then.

Back in June, The Motley Fool's Tom Taulli wrote an article titled Google's Billion-Dollar Shopping List -- With its pending IPO, Google is about to come into a bunch of money. How might it spend some of its newfound wealth?. Mr Taulli's shopping list included Ask Jeeves, FindWhat, Infospace, Monster Worldwide, Verity, Overstock and Priceline. Oh dear. You'd have thought that Rick Munarriz would have learnt from Tom Taulli's experience.

What should Mr Munarriz have written about instead? Google's telecom investments.