Google buys Skybox Imaging for $500M

|By:, SA News Editor

The acquisition price for the satellite imagery/analytics provider is well below the ~$1B mentioned in a prior TechCrunch report.

Google (GOOG -0.5%) declares Skybox's satellites "will help keep our maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," and could also be used in time to "help improve Internet access and disaster relief ."

The deal comes barely a week after the WSJ reported Google plans to spend ~$1B to $3B+ to build a satellite fleet to provide Web access to underserved regions. Skybox, for its part, has already placed an order for 13 small satellites to complement one that it's in the air and another that's set to launch.

Google Maps/Earth imagery provider DigitalGlobe (DGI -2.5%) has dipped on the news.