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The Big Five: Largest Acquisitions by Tech Company

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Big Tech Company Acquisitions

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The Big Five: Largest Acquisitions by Tech Company

The Big Five tech giants, or “FAAMG”—Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google (Alphabet)—have a combined market capitalization of over $4 trillion.

These powerful tech behemoths often devour the talent, technology, or entire businesses of aspiring competitors. Given their financial weight, mergers and acquisitions have become a key tactic in maintaining their strong grip on tech supremacy.

Today’s Chart of the Week explores the world’s most powerful tech companies and their biggest acquisitions to date.

Which Acquisitions Were a Success?

While these tech giants may have had big aspirations for these exceedingly large deals, they have mixed success rates.

Microsoft

Microsoft made its big move 2016 to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, and it’s the most sizable acquisition by any of the Big Five tech companies.

Microsoft’s 5 Biggest Acquisitions:

Acquisition (Year)AmountCategory
LinkedIn (2016)$26.2 billionSocial Media
Skype (2011)$8.5 billionTelecommunications
GitHub (2018)$7.5 billionSoftware
Nokia (2014)$7.2 billionTelecommunications
aQuantive (2007)$6.3 billionMarketing

The LinkedIn deal was made due to the synergy between the two companies’ offerings, and Microsoft’s desire to gain access to LinkedIn’s 575 million members.

However, not all of Microsoft’s acquisitions have been as successful, such as its 2014 purchase of Nokia’s Devices & Services business for $7.2 billion. This seemed like a smart move at the time, considering the Finnish company held 41% of the global handset market.

Yet, Microsoft sold the asset for a mere $350 million just two years later. Microsoft shifted its strategy and exited the feature phone market, choosing to focus on a narrow, niche market for their hardware.

Amazon

Amazon has closed more than $20 billion in acquisitions and investments since 2017. This includes the purchase of Whole Foods, which Amazon bought for $13.7 billion, and is the company’s largest acquisition to date.

Amazon’s 5 Biggest Acquisitions:

Acquisition (Year)AmountCategory
Whole Foods (2017)$13.7 billionRetail
Zappos (2009)$1.2 billionRetail
Ring (2018)$1.2 billionTechnology
PillPack (2018)$1 billionPharmaceuticals
Twitch (2014)$970 millionSocial Media

From purchases to bolster the AI of smart assistant Alexa, to Wi-Fi enabled doorbell Ring, recent additions clearly show the company intends to cement its presence in people’s homes.

After acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon began offering store discounts to Prime customers, in an attempt to bundle its home offerings and provide a more holistic customer experience.

Alphabet

Alphabet has made several daring moves into the hardware and data science sectors. The company’s biggest acquisition was Motorola, which it bought in 2012 for $12.5 billion.

Alphabet’s 5 Biggest Acquisitions:

Acquisition (Year)AmountCategory
Motorola (2012)$12.5 billionTelecommunications
Nest (2014)$3.2 billionTechnology
DoubleClick (2007)$3.1 billionMarketing
Looker (2019)$2.6 billionSoftware
YouTube (2006)$1.7 billionSocial Media

However, the purchase of Motorola was a bet that didn’t pay off. Alphabet sold off much of Motorola’s assets for less than $3 billion in 2014, a little less than two years after it had originally acquired it.

Alphabet continues to consolidate its acquisitions in order to simplify its organizational structure. DoubleClick, acquired in 2007, merged with Google Analytics 360 Suite under the Google Marketing Platform—making it easier for marketers to access their metrics using one platform.

Apple

Out of the Big Five companies, Apple has the fewest acquisitions over $1 billion. Its largest purchase was for Beats Electronics, which it acquired for $3 billion in 2014.

Apple’s 5 Biggest Acquisitions

Acquisition (Year)AmountCategory
Beats (2014)$3 billionMusic
Dialog Semiconductor (2018)$600 millionManufacturing
Anobit (2011)$500 millionManufacturing
Shazam (2017)$400 millionMusic
NeXT Computer (1996)$400 millionTechnology

Apple’s increasing music streaming efforts have been evident, with the acquisition of Shazam three years after it purchased Beats Electronics.

In an intriguing recent turn of events, Apple recently announced it will acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. This $1 billion deal will allow Apple to build all of its devices in-house, and better prepare the iPhone for the upcoming 5G push.

Facebook

Facebook’s largest acquisition has been WhatsApp Messenger, which it purchased for $22 billion in 2014. The WhatsApp acquisition is the second largest of the Big Five, following Microsoft’s LinkedIn purchase.

Facebook’s 5 Biggest Acquisitions:

Acquisition (Year)AmountCategory
WhatsApp (2014)$22 billionSocial Media
Oculus (2014)$2 billionTechnology
Instagram (2012)$1 billionSocial Media
LiveRail (2014)$500 millionMarketing
Onavo (2013)$200 millionAnalytics

Aside from absorbing any competitors who encroach on Facebook’s turf—such as WhatsApp and Instagram—Facebook’s takeovers have been aimed at venturing into uncharted territory. The acquisition of virtual reality manufacturer, Oculus, is evidence of Facebook’s bet on virtual reality as the future of engagement.

“After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, or studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world —just by putting on goggles in your home.”

—Mark Zuckerberg

Predicting the Next Shift

The Big Five are some of the most influential companies in the world today.

Beyond rapidly reshaping the global tech landscape, these acquisitions provide important context on how tech companies consolidate power—and, more importantly, what will fuel their next phase of growth.

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Technology

Mapped: How Much Netflix Costs in Every Country

This map of Netflix price by country shows how much a basic subscription package costs around the world.

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Mapped: Netflix Price by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Netflix, the renowned streaming giant, has transformed the way we consume entertainment, providing a vast library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries at the touch of a button.

However, the cost of accessing this digital haven varies significantly from country to country, reflecting economic disparities and market dynamics.

This graphic from Preyash Shah maps Netflix price by country, using standard (basic) package subscription monthly rates from Netflix.com and converting to USD as of December 10, 2023.

What is the Netflix Price by Country?

Across 244 countries and territories that had Netflix available in December of 2023, Switzerland was the most expensive at $21.48 per month. That was $5 more than the second-most-expensive country on the list.

CountriesNetflix Cost (USD)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan$7.99
🇦🇽 Åland Islands$12.92
🇦🇱 Albania$8.61
🇩🇿 Algeria$7.99
🇦🇸 American Samoa$15.49
🇦🇩 Andorra$14.00
🇦🇴 Angola$7.99
🇦🇮 Anguilla$12.99
🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda$12.99
🇦🇷 Argentina$3.57
🇦🇲 Armenia$10.76
🇦🇼 Aruba$12.99
🇦🇺 Australia$11.19
🇦🇹 Austria$14.00
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan$10.76
🇧🇸 Bahamas$12.99
🇧🇭 Bahrain$10.49
🇧🇩 Bangladesh$7.99
🇧🇧 Barbados$15.29
🇧🇾 Belarus$10.76
🇧🇪 Belgium$14.54
🇧🇿 Belize$5.99
🇧🇯 Benin$9.99
🇧🇲 Bermuda$12.99
🇧🇹 Bhutan$7.99
🇧🇴 Bolivia$5.99
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina$8.61
🇧🇼 Botswana$7.99
🇧🇻 Bouvet Island$9.99
🇧🇷 Brazil$8.10
🇮🇴 British Indian Ocean Territory$7.99
🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands$12.99
🇧🇳 Brunei$11.99
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$8.61
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso$7.99
🇧🇮 Burundi$7.99
🇰🇭 Cambodia$7.99
🇨🇲 Cameroon$7.99
🇨🇦 Canada$12.13
🇨🇻 Cape Verde$7.99
🇨🇰 Caribbean Netherlands$12.99
🇰🇾 Cayman Islands$12.99
🇨🇫 Central African Republic$7.99
🇹🇩 Chad$7.99
🇨🇱 Chile$9.58
🇨🇽 Christmas Island$7.99
🇨🇨 Cocos (Keeling) Islands$11.19
🇨🇴 Colombia$6.75
🇰🇲 Comoros$7.99
🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇰 Cook Islands$11.32
🇨🇷 Costa Rica$12.99
🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire$7.99
🇭🇷 Croatia$8.61
🇨🇺 Cuba$5.99
🇨🇼 Curaçao$12.99
🇨🇾 Cyprus$11.84
🇨🇿 Czechia$11.42
🇩🇰 Denmark$16.46
🇩🇯 Djibouti$7.99
🇩🇲 Dominica$5.99
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic$7.99
🇪🇨 Ecuador$7.99
🇪🇬 Egypt$3.88
🇸🇻 El Salvador$7.99
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England$7.99
🇪🇪 Estonia$7.99
🇪🇹 Ethiopia$10.76
🇫🇰 Falkland Islands$7.99
🇫🇴 Faroe Islands$7.99
🇫🇯 Fiji$12.99
🇫🇮 Finland$16.46
🇫🇷 France$7.99
🇬🇫 French Guiana$12.92
🇵🇫 French Polynesia$14.54
🇹🇫 French Southern Territories$13.46
🇬🇦 Gabon$11.99
🇬🇲 Gambia$12.92
🇬🇪 Georgia$7.99
🇩🇪 Germany$7.99
🇬🇭 Ghana$12.70
🇬🇮 Gibraltar$14.00
🇬🇷 Greece$7.99
🇬🇱 Greenland$14.00
🇬🇩 Grenada$11.84
🇬🇵 Guadeloupe$16.46
🇬🇺 Guam$5.99
🇬🇹 Guatemala$13.46
🇬🇬 Guernsey$15.49
🇬🇳 Guinea$7.99
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau$13.79
🇬🇾 Guyana$7.99
🇭🇹 Haiti$7.99
🇭🇲 Heard & McDonald Islands$5.99
🇭🇳 Honduras$5.99
🇭🇰 Hong Kong$9.99
🇭🇺 Hungary$7.99
🇮🇸 Iceland$9.99
🇮🇳 India$9.85
🇮🇩 Indonesia$14.00
🇮🇷 Iran$5.98
🇮🇶 Iraq$7.72
🇮🇪 Ireland$9.99
🇮🇲 Isle of Man$7.99
🇮🇱 Israel$16.15
🇮🇹 Italy$13.79
🇯🇲 Jamaica$12.67
🇯🇵 Japan$14.00
🇯🇪 Jersey$5.99
🇯🇴 Jordan$10.28
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan$13.79
🇰🇪 Kenya$7.99
🇰🇮 Kiribati$10.76
🇰🇼 Kuwait$4.52
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan$7.99
🇱🇦 Laos$9.99
🇱🇻 Latvia$10.76
🇱🇧 Lebanon$7.99
🇱🇸 Lesotho$10.76
🇱🇷 Liberia$7.99
🇱🇾 Libya$7.99
🇱🇮 Liechtenstein$7.99
🇱🇹 Lithuania$7.99
🇱🇺 Luxembourg$21.48
🇲🇴 Macau$10.76
🇲🇬 Madagascar$14.54
🇲🇼 Malawi$9.99
🇲🇾 Malaysia$7.99
🇲🇻 Maldives$7.99
🇲🇱 Mali$9.65
🇲🇹 Malta$11.99
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands$7.99
🇲🇶 Martinique$14.00
🇲🇷 Mauritania$15.49
🇲🇺 Mauritius$13.46
🇾🇹 Mayotte$7.99
🇲🇽 Mexico$7.99
🇫🇲 Micronesia$13.46
🇲🇩 Moldova$12.62
🇲🇨 Monaco$15.49
🇲🇳 Mongolia$10.76
🇲🇪 Montenegro$14.54
🇲🇸 Montserrat$7.99
🇲🇦 Morocco$8.61
🇲🇿 Mozambique$12.99
🇲🇲 Myanmar (Burma)$6.41
🇳🇦 Namibia$7.99
🇳🇷 Nauru$7.99
🇳🇵 Nepal$7.99
🇳🇱 Netherlands$11.99
🇳🇨 New Caledonia$7.99
🇳🇿 New Zealand$12.92
🇳🇮 Nicaragua$11.99
🇳🇪 Niger$11.32
🇳🇬 Nigeria$5.99
🇳🇺 Niue$7.99
🇳🇫 Norfolk Island$4.48
🇲🇰 North Macedonia$11.32
🇲🇵 Northern Mariana Islands$11.19
🇳🇴 Norway$8.61
🇴🇲 Oman$15.49
🇵🇰 Pakistan$9.99
🇵🇼 Palau$10.49
🇵🇸 Palestine$2.82
🇵🇦 Panama$15.49
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea$7.99
🇵🇾 Paraguay$8.99
🇵🇪 Peru$7.99
🇵🇭 Philippines$5.99
🇵🇳 Pitcairn Islands$9.28
🇵🇱 Poland$7.19
🇵🇹 Portugal$7.99
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico$10.68
🇶🇦 Qatar$12.92
🇷🇪 Réunion$15.49
🇷🇴 Romania$9.99
🇷🇼 Rwanda$12.49
🇼🇸 Samoa$10.76
🇸🇲 San Marino$7.99
🇸🇹 São Tomé & Príncipe$7.99
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$14.00
🇸🇳 Senegal$7.99
🇷🇸 Serbia$11.47
🇸🇨 Seychelles$7.99
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone$8.61
🇸🇬 Singapore$7.99
🇸🇽 Sint Maarten$7.99
🇸🇰 Slovakia$13.02
🇸🇮 Slovenia$12.99
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands$10.76
🇸🇴 Somalia$8.61
🇿🇦 South Africa$7.99
🇬🇸 South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands$7.99
🇰🇷 South Korea$8.41
🇸🇸 South Sudan$9.99
🇪🇸 Spain$10.25
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka$7.99
🇧🇱 St. Barthélemy$14.00
🇸🇭 St. Helena$7.99
🇰🇳 St. Kitts & Nevis$5.99
🇱🇨 St. Lucia$7.99
🇲🇫 St. Martin$12.99
🇵🇲 St. Pierre & Miquelon$5.99
🇻🇨 St. Vincent & Grenadines$5.99
🇸🇩 Sudan$14.54
🇸🇷 Suriname$5.99
🇸🇯 Svalbard & Jan Mayen$7.99
🇸🇪 Sweden$5.99
🇨🇭 Switzerland$9.99
🇹🇼 Taiwan$12.32
🇹🇯 Tajikistan$21.48
🇹🇿 Tanzania$10.49
🇹🇭 Thailand$12.70
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste$7.99
🇹🇬 Togo$9.90
🇹🇰 Tokelau$7.99
🇹🇴 Tonga$7.99
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago$11.32
🇹🇳 Tunisia$7.99
🇹🇷 Türkiye$12.99
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan$7.99
🇹🇨 Turks & Caicos Islands$3.38
🇹🇻 Tuvalu$10.76
🇺🇸 U.S. Outlying Islands$12.99
🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands$7.99
🇺🇬 Uganda$9.99
🇺🇦 Ukraine$15.49
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates$7.99
🇬🇧 United Kingdom$8.07
🇺🇸 United States$10.62
🇺🇾 Uruguay$13.79
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan$15.49
🇻🇺 Vanuatu$12.99
🇻🇦 Vatican City$10.76
🇻🇪 Venezuela$7.99
🇻🇳 Vietnam$14.00
🇼🇫 Wallis & Futuna$5.99
🇪🇭 Western Sahara$9.08
🇾🇪 Yemen$7.99
🇿🇲 Zambia$9.99
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe$7.99
Zambia$7.99
Zimbabwe$7.99

Other wealthy countries like Denmark, Ireland, and the U.S. were in the top five most expensive countries for Netflix subscriptions, ranging from $16.46 to $15.49.

On the opposite side of the pendulum, Pakistan had the lowest Netflix subscription cost at $2.82 per month. It was followed by Türkiye at $3.38 and Argentina at $3.57.

Several factors influence the flux in pricing of Netflix subscriptions across different nations. These include:

  • Economic Factors: Netflix tailors its prices to align with the purchasing power of consumers in each market. Countries with higher average incomes typically bear higher subscription costs.
  • Market Competition: The presence of strong local streaming services can exert downward pressure on Netflix prices, forcing it to adjust its offerings to remain competitive.
  • Content Licensing: The cost of acquiring content rights varies across regions, influencing the overall pricing structure. Countries with higher licensing fees may experience higher subscription costs.
  • Currency Fluctuations: Currency exchange rates can impact Netflix’s pricing model, leading to occasional adjustments or fluctuations in subscription costs.

While affordability remains a primary concern for consumers, Netflix’s pricing strategy also aims to balance accessibility with content acquisition and profitability.

As the streaming industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to observe how Netflix adapts its pricing model to maintain its global dominance while catering to the diverse needs and preferences of its audience.

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