Google Cloud’s $2.6bn deal for Looker has been approved by the CMA
Google’s $2.6 billion deal to acquire Looker Data Science has today been approved by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Tabled in June 2019, the CMA concluded that the combination would not lead to increased prices or reduce competition, adding that it was unlikely that Google could bring its internet dominance to bear to drive out competition as a result of the acquisition.
“Google and Looker are not considered close competitors by businesses using BI tools, who can still choose from other providers, including Microsoft, Oracle, Tableau, SAP and IBM,” explained the CMA in a statement issued today.
It continued: “The CMA considered whether Google could leverage its market power in online advertising and web analytics to drive rival BI providers out of the market. The CMA found that although Google had the ability to make it difficult for rivals to access the Google-generated data they need from online advertising and web analytics services, there was no strong evidence they would have the incentive to do this.”
The deal has already been approved by the US Department of Justice and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, and enabled Google to complete its acquisition today.
Google will wrap the start-up – its last round of funding was at the end of 2018 – into its Google Cloud business, headed up by its CEO Thomas Kurian. Looker’s technology will augment Google Cloud’s BigQuery analytics tool for managing large data sets. According to Google, it and Looker share around 350 customers, including mobile games company King, The Economist and Hearst Communications.
“Looker will strengthen Google Cloud’s analytics and data warehouse capabilities, including BigQuery, enabling our customers to address some of their toughest business challenges, faster,” wrote Kurian in a blog post today.
Looker CEO Frank Bien, meanwhile, claimed that the company would continue to operate as a multi-cloud tool. “Looker customers will continue to have the freedom to choose from any cloud data management system like Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Teradata and more,” he wrote.