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Mergers And Acquisitions In 2014 (Thus Far)

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Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is on a bit of an acquisition spree, but it is far from the only company that is buying up startups and stalwarts this year.

As most Benzinga readers are aware, Comcast and Time Warner Cable recently announced a massive merger.

Actavis and Forest Laboratories announced a mega merger as well.

Facebook paid a large sum for WhatsApp.

Jos. A. Bank is buying Eddie Bauer.

Amazon acquired a game developer.

Criteo picked up Tedemis.

And Apple bought a couple startups.

Click through the slideshow to see what other companies are merging in 2014.

Posted-In: Actavis Apple Bitspin Comcast CriteoNews M&A Tech Best of Benzinga

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    Comcast And Time Warner Cable

    Comcast And Time Warner Cable

    Comcast, the largest cable provider in America, wants to merge with Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable provider.

    At least one former FCC commissioner is against the deal, which is valued at $45 billion.

    This merger is in the early stages and has yet to clear regulatory hurdles, but it is easily one of the biggest deals of the year.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Facebook And WhatsApp

    Facebook And WhatsApp

    Say what you will about the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, but it could make sense for these two firms to pool their subscribers and resources.

    It makes much less sense for Facebook to spend billions of dollars on an app.

    The social network ignored the risks and spent at least $16 billion on WhatsApp, an alternative texting app.

    Most analysts agree that this was a smart acquisition, but the hefty price tag has surprised investors and industry watchers alike.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And Nest

    Google And Nest

    One of Google’s biggest acquisitions since Motorola, Nest came with a hefty price tag -- $3.2 billion.

    Some have wondered if Google sold Motorola to finance the Nest deal.

    Whether or not that’s the case, Motorola did not develop any new products that were able to take Google to the next level. Nest, on the other hand, is reportedly working on some very innovative devices and services.

    Thus far, Nest has released a smart thermostat and a smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector. The company also sells Nest-branded water bottles and blankets.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Jos. A. Bank And Eddie Bauer

    Jos. A. Bank And Eddie Bauer

    After months of merger hype with Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ: JOSB) has decided to acquire Eddie Bauer.

    The acquisition, which is valued at $825 million, has made some investors wonder if Jos. A. Bank chose Eddie Bauer over Men's Wearhouse.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Everest Topco (a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital) will sell Everest Holdings -- the parent of the Eddie Bauer brand -- to Jos. A. Bank.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Criteo And Tedemis

    Criteo And Tedemis

    Not all acquisitions involve multi-billion-dollar transactions.

    Some, like the Eddie Bauer deal, were less than a billion.

    In some cases, both parties agree not to reveal how much money changed hands.

    That was the case with Criteo, which purchased Tedemis (provider of real-time opt-in personalized email marketing solutions) for an undisclosed sum.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And spider.io

    Google And spider.io

    Google has devoured another small startup -- spider.io.

    The search engine giant acquired the firm to build a "cleaner, more accountable Web."

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Actavis And Forest Laboratories

    Actavis And Forest Laboratories

    It may not be as big as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, but the Actavis-Forest Laboratories merger is one of the biggest of the year.

    Actavis will acquire Forest for $25 billion in cash and stock.

    Shares of Forest began to climb after rumors of the deal first surfaced in The Wall Street Journal. They continued to rise after the deal was announced and are up more than 60 percent year-to-date.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And Bitspin/Timely

    Google And Bitspin/Timely

    According to The Verge, Google has acquired Bitspin.

    Bitspin is primarily known for creating an alarm clock app called Timely.

    What does Google plan to do with a firm that has essentially created another version of something that is already built into Android?

    No one knows for sure, but The Verge's sources claim that Google will not begin charging for Timely, which is already free.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Apple And Burstly

    Apple And Burstly

    Is Apple looking to refine its iOS beta testing process?

    The answer seems to be a definite "yes."

    According to Re/code, the Mac maker has acquired Burstly, the owner of a popular iOS beta testing platform called TestFlight.

    As usual, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And Impermium

    Google And Impermium

    Google has been on a bit of a quiet acquisition spree.

    In addition to Nest and Bitspin, the search engine giant also purchased Impermium.

    Founded to rid the Web of spam, fraud and abuse, Impermium had a number of big financial supporters, including Accel Partners and AOL Ventures.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Impermium raised $9 million before it was acquired.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Apple And SnappyLabs

    Apple And SnappyLabs

    Apple’s first acquisition was for a startup called SnappyLabs.

    Responsible for creating just one app -- SnappyCam, a cheap app that enhances the iPhone’s camera -- SnappyLabs was a one-man shop.

    Apple does not typically reveal how much it pays for the startups that it acquires, and this one was no different.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And SlickLogin

    Google And SlickLogin

    How many security-related companies can Google buy in one year?

    At the rate Google is going, the answer might be an infinite number of security-related companies.

    SlickLogin is yet another that can be added to the list. The company uses military-grade security and other tools that could eliminate the need for traditional passwords.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Amazon And Double Helix

    Amazon And Double Helix

    One of the more surprising acquisitions involved Amazon and game developer Double Helix.

    The acquisition came weeks after rumors claimed that Amazon would release a game console in 2014.

    Unlike the previous reports, the latest rumor indicated that Amazon’s machine would retail for less than $300 (which is game industry speak for “$299”).

    In 2013, most analysts believed that if Amazon released a console, it would be a lower-priced, Android-based device designed to compete with Apple TV.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google And DeepMind

    Google And DeepMind

    Hands down, Google is leading the year for the greatest number of startup acquisitions.

    According to Re/code, DeepMind is a “secretive” artificial intelligence company and a “formidable” player within the AI industry.

    DeepMind was no small acquisition -- Google paid $400 million to bring the firm into its family.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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