updated 09:45 pm EST, Thu December 10, 2009
Both companies pursued La La, AdMob
Several Silicon Valley start-ups have been eyed by both Google and Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report (subscription required). Although Apple recently sealed the deal to acquire La La Media, Google also had been negotiating to purchase the online music store. The competition also extended to AdMob, an advertising company that Google agreed to buy for $750 million.
The recent acquisitions serve as further evidence that the companies are becoming direct competitors in many arenas, as Apple begins to eye advertising companies and Google appears to be expanding its music service.
Google and Apple are already fighting for market share in the smartphone segment. The recent Droid commercials show such rivalry, as Verizon and Motorola directly criticize the iPhone's shortcomings. Apple's recent job offerings have lead to speculation that the company is attempting to build its own navigation utility to compete with Google Maps, a free app available on Android devices.
Several analysts believe Apple was trying to acquire AdMob to protect sensitive data regarding the App Store. Google's presence in mobile advertising might allow the search giant to analyze Apple's app portal through information gathered from ad-supported content.
Google recently launched its Chrome browser on the Mac platform, although it has already competed with Safari for market share on Windows machines. A preview of the search giant's Chrome operating highlighted the company's integrated music service, providing a potential alternative to iTunes.
Both companies are expected to continue acquiring smaller tech companies, as Google holds nearly $22 billion in cash and Apple's coffers are filled with $34 billion in funds.