What Google's Acquisition of Titan Aerospace Really Means
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) has acquired Titan Aerospace, the marker of solar-powered drones, for an undisclosed price. You may remember Titan Aerospace as a potential takeover target for Facebook (FB) earlier this year.
Facebook was looking to buy Titan for roughly $60 million. To Facebook and Google, $60 million is pocket change.
The assumption is that Google will use the drones in an attempt to expand worldwide Internet access, not the first time the company has made a creative attempt to do so.
But expanding Internet access is not what I see here. I see two companies -- Google and Facebook -- trying to stay relevant, even if they're doing so for the next generation.Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp demonstrate that management knows the Facebook platform isn't the cool platform anymore, despite boasting more than 1 billion users. All the kids are using Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook is for older people.
And those acquisitions were for today's world. They were made for the short term. But Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR, the maker of virtual reality head-mounted displays, and its attempted acquisition of Titan Aerospace show that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is focused on the distant future. Google's acquisition of Nest -- a home automation company -- and of a slew of robotics companies, and its development of Google Glass and self-driving cars, demonstrate that it too is focused on buying, creating and being behind tomorrow's next big thing. Titan Aerospace is no different. It's just one small acquisition -- which joins a long list of others -- that Google hopes will be another home run. Don't expect Google or Facebook to slow down much on the buying sprees, as each company attempts to unlock tomorrow's technology. If you're a shareholder, it should be comforting to know these companies aren't sitting on their rear ends, becoming irrelevant tech dinosaurs.
At the time of publication, Kenwell didn't own any shares of the companies mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff. -- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. Follow @BretKenwell