Internet M&A is Different Than You Might Think

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Merger activity amongst technology companies is nothing new. Start-ups are often venture-backed, and very few of them become large enough or profitable enough to pull off an IPO and need to raise enough money to repay their investors.

Luckily, for tech entrepreneurs, there are a handful of large acquisitive companies out there. Cisco ( CSCO) has acquired over 100 companies, and Google ( GOOG) has done its fair share of acquisitions as well. Sometimes it's cheaper to purchase a successful business than recreating it oneself.

Although they often compete for the same companies, the acquisition strategies of the Internet giants vary. Some companies like to do a lot of acqui-hires (buying companies with the intention of shutting them down, just to get the talent). Others, focus on larger scale billion dollar deals. Sometimes the companies are integrated. Sometimes they remain as standalone companies. Some acquisitions ultimately fail.

Companies like Google, Yahoo!, and others all approach deal-making in different ways.

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