It's a perennial question for companies: Build or buy?
It appears to be something Google thinks about a lot. It knew it needed email and thought the approach should be, well, revolutionary. The result was building out Gmail. This was also the case with Froogle, the online shopping comparison service, and Orkut, the online social networking site.
True, Google has some of the world's best programmers. But why build everything if you have the money to get the technology today? Yesterday, for example, the company announced it would purchase Picasa, which provides solutions for digital photo management.
In fact, Google has made a string of acquisitions, such as for Kaltix (context-sensitive search), Applied Semantics (technologies for online advertising), and Sprinks (a pay-per-click network).
It's smart. Look at Google's mega competitor, Yahoo!
Yahoo! is not afraid of transformational acquisitions. The most prominent was its purchase of Overture, which has become a critical part of Yahoo!'s growth.
However, by being in the IPO process, it makes it exceedingly difficult for Google to carry out major deals. But Google will probably need some transformational deals to continue its growth path and justify its market cap. Targets include search companies such as FindWhat
This predicament may explain why Google is pushing hard to get its IPO, and subsequent listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange, done within the month of July. However, this really seems like a pipe dream.
Yes, we learned a little bit more about the Dutch auction process from the latest amendment to Google's IPO filing. That is, a bidder will need to reconfirm bids if 15 business days have elapsed or there is a material change to Google's prospectus.
Yet the expected auction process is still very sketchy. Try calling one of the participating brokers on the deal for information. You're likely not to get any useful information.
Other considerations include the red tape of the SEC and the complexities of the computer auction system. And Google will need to educate investors on the mechanics of the auction process; there will certainly be a learning curve.
So, considering August is a dead time for IPOs, expect the Google offering in September or October.
Fool contributor Tom Taulli is the author of The EDGAR Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements. He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.