Sun. Jan 26th, 2020

UK competition watchdog launched an investigation into Google’s $2.6 billion acquisition

On Monday, UK competition watchdog said it had launched an investigation into Google’s $2.6 billion acquisition of Looker’s big-data analytics firm.

Google, an Alphabet (GOOG) division, said it purchased the Santa Cruz-based company in June to expand its portfolio of cloud services.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it was considering whether the investment of the e-commerce giant could constitute a merger and whether a “substantial reduction in the competition” could result within the United Kingdom.

The authority has set a deadline of 20 December to collect input from the parties concerned.

Google Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of the company, is behind both Amazon and Microsoft in the area of information storage services, which has been a huge driver of success for some of the world’s largest technology companies in recent years.

Looker, a publicly-traded company established in 2012, has around 800 employees and raised as much as $281 million in venture capital funding before the acquisition of Google.

It was established to provide data visualization and analytics to companies using complex cloud services, helping them find the right server and tool deployment.

Google and Looker both already had a strong existing partnership and 350 common customers, and Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said the deal would “complete” the analytics services of his division in June.

Looker’s solutions will be combined with the BigQuery offering from Google Cloud and its related tools for data infrastructure.

Kurian suggested that the deal would not be subject to regulatory scrutiny, as the Looker deal involves software acquisition rather than data acquisition.

“The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will provide an incredible data management and analytics platform for any business that is looking for a partner to help drive digital transformation,” Kurian said.