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Google Acquires Makani Power

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Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG) has acquired Alameda-based wind turbine maker Makani Power, Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Privately-owned Makani Power was founded in 2006 by Saul Griffith, Don Montague, and Corwin Hardham. This green energy startup builds airborne wind turbines and is a leading developer of airborne wind power extraction systems. After the completion of the acquisition, the Makani Power team will be integrated into Google’s team.

For quite some time Google has been interested in clean technology rather than using fossil fuels. Google invested $10 million in Makani in 2006 and another $5 million in 2008 (as per TechCrunch source). Earlier, in Jan 2013, it invested $200 million in a wind farm in west Texas. Google has been focusing on renewable energy to power its data centers. Since 2010, the company has invested in 10 renewable-energy projects.

Google has already committed more than $1 billion to solar and wind projects. Thus, the acquisition fits Google’ purposes in creating clean energy. The increased use of renewable energy by Google and other cloud computing providers will help to reduce global warming and fossil fuel consumption which is depleting at a faster rate.

Google is also quite active on the merger and acquisition front. In Feb 2013, it acquired Channel Intelligence for $125 million to boost its e-commerce business. Earlier this year, it also acquired an infrastructure startup company, Talaria Technologies to boost its cloud offerings. Recently, Google acquired Behavio, a mobile sensor start-up company, for an undisclosed sum.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Google’s gross revenue (including TAC) touched a record $14.4 billion, representing sequential and year-over-year increases of 2.3% and 36.2%, respectively. Excluding the $1.5 billion contribution from Motorola, revenues were up 21.9% from the year-ago quarter.

Google has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other that are worth considering include Linear Technology Corp. (LLTC), ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN) and Intersil Corp. (ISIL), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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