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Google Acquires Gapminder’s Graphical Trending Technology

Google has announced the acquisition of Gapminder’s Trendalyzer technology, which takes any information, stats, figures or facts and provides a graphical representation.

Here’s an excerpt from Google’s Marrisa Mayer’s blog post

…we are excited to announce that we have acquired Gapminder’s Trendalyzer software, and we welcome the Trendalyzer team to Google. Trendalyzer generates moving graphics and other novel effects in the display of facts, figures, and statistics in presentations. In its nimble hands, Trendalyzer views development data—such as regional income distribution or trends in global health—as literally a world of opportunity. Like Google, Gapminder strives to make information more useful, and Trendalyzer will improve any function or application in which data might be better visualized.

Here’s an official Google example of Trendalyzer in use. As you can see, it offers some fancy graphing and manipulation of data using Flash.

Cisco at It Again: Acquires WebEx

Just a week and a half after announcing its acquisition, Cisco Systems announced that it will acquire WebEx. WebEx is a B2B online meeting software. Cisco envisions this move to enhance their Unified Communications, “particularly within the Small to Medium Business (SMB) segment.” Cisco will pay $3.2 billion for the company/shares.

Unlike the acquition, which it derided as a “wrong bet,” GigaOM’s Om Malik calls this move “a smart one, . . . part of a bigger chess game the company is playing against Microsoft.”

Om notes that the price tag is twice that of YouTube, but WebEx is a profitable company. Last year WebEx had a net income of $47 million, after $380 million in sales.

Michael Arrington takes a dimmer view, noting WebEx’s software shortcomings.

Microsoft Confirms Acquisition of Tellme

After much rumor earlier in the week, Microsoft has indeed agreed to acquire speech recognition software provider, Tellme.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft was negotiating to pay up to $800 million for Mountain View, Calif.-based Tellme, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Microsoft said the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.

Tellme’s voice-activated services can be used for tasks such as telephone call center service and speech recognition internet search.

Weekend Acquisitions

Neo@Ogilvy, the digital & direct media arm of Ogilvy, acquired Global Strategies International, “a leading search marketing consultancy,” they announced Friday. GSI specializes in SEO, brand reputation management and training.

In their press release, Neo@Ogilvy said of the merger:

“Search marketing cannot live in a silo anymore,” said Nasreen Madhany, Global CEO of Neo@Ogilvy. “It needs to be part of a 360 strategy for delivering marketing solutions. When managed holistically, search marketing can deliver branding as well as business results. The integration of GSI into Neo@Ogilvy will allow us to deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions to clients throughout Neo’s global network.”

GSI will keep its founders, including recently elected SEMPO board member Bill Hunt, to “maintain its own identity within Neo@Ogilvy.”

Citysearch Acquires InsiderPages

citysearch/insider pagesOnce dominated by Citysearch, competition has increased in the local sector—Insider Pages, Judy’s Book,, etc. Sometimes, if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em: Citysearch has acquired Insider Pages, a local review site.

Insider Pages has been reported to be struggling lately, but the reports have not included the actual price. Insider Pages had garnered $9 – $10 million in venture capital; TechCrunch reports the acquisition was around $13 million. Although there were multiple bidders, Insider Pages selected Citysearch because it’s complimentary, according to VP of Marketing Anne Raimondi.

VentureBeat reports:

Insider Pages has about 600,000 user reviews, and they’ll be integrated into the Citysearch’s offering, she said. It has 2.5 million monthly unique readers, she said, based on Comscore and internal tracking numbers.

Fox Interactive Media Acquires Ad Targeting Company Strategic Data Corp

News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media has acquired Strategic Data Corp. Fox Interactive hopes Strategic’s interactive ad targeting technology will help the company better target advertising on sites it owns, such as MySpace.

From the press release…

 â€œSDC will enable us to realize the full potential of our massive online network,” said Peter Levinsohn, President, Fox Interactive Media. “SDC’s expert team and technologies combined with our own top notch engineers and vast audience will enable us to ensure the optimal performance of our advertising for the benefit of clients and consumers alike.”

Strategic Data Corp will help Fox “to deliver highly-targeted graphical performance-based advertising on literally billions of Web pages viewed each day across its growing network.”

No financial terms were released.


Google Buys Video Game Ad Firm; Time to Actually Make These Acquisitions Work?

Red Herring is reporting Google has acquired video game advertising firm, Adscape Media for $23 million. It’s unclear at this stage whether this is a just a move to buy a “few potentially interesting patents” or Google’s entry into in-game advertising.

From my own experience, I’m personally starting to question Google’s acquisition strategy. Now, I have no inside information, but I can relate their actions to what I went thru as part of Think Partnership (parent of the now defunct WebSourced).