A Fool Looks Back

Leave Google's billions alone
Everyone loves to play matchmaker. It was a busy week for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , as it was attached to buyout rumors of both Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE  ) and eBay's (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) Skype. I guess now that Google lost out on the spectrum bidding license, the market seems to think that Big G is going to go on a spending spree, as if this was some drunken bachelor party.

Well, before Google starts breaking billions into singles, let's be realistic here. Google rarely goes on pricey binges, preferring to snap up smaller, privately held companies that will be part of bigger endeavors. It's no coincidence that the two times Google has forked over more than $1 billion for an acquisition -- as it did for YouTube and DoubleClick -- it was for private companies.

It's less messy that way. You don't get bellyaching shareholders holding out for more or testy arbs shorting your shares. So why is everyone so set on hooking Google up with a big dot-com when its history shows an entirely different buying-spree pattern?

Will Google buy again? Of course. Is its purchase going to be one of the companies that hopeful investors crank out into the rumor mills? Probably not.

Quick hits
A few more of the market's stories, in brief:

  • Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) launched Shine, a website for women. I guess it's just as well, since shining hasn't been the company's strong suit when it comes to grappling for market share in the search-engine space.
  • Have you ever had a BlackBerry smoothie? The recipe involves adding more than 2 million net new subscribers during a holiday quarter and posting better-than-expected quarterly results. Hit puree. Yes, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) sure knows how to blend up those BlackBerry smoothies.
  • The first quarter came and went without XM (Nasdaq: XMSR  ) and Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) tying the knot. The FCC at one time had predicted a decision by the end of March. It didn't happen. Patience is a virtue, especially for patient investors who are now staring back at the original announcement nearly 14 months ago. Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey aren't getting any younger, folks. Let's move this along.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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