Google confirms Skybox purchase

<p>Skybox Imaging has been bought by Google for around £300 million.</p>

Google has confirmed it has completed the purchase of a satellite imaging company.

The company stated that it has paid around £500 million (£300 million) for Skybox Imaging, with the purchase being the latest in a line of recent acquisitions to have been completed by Google.

"[Skybox's] satellites will help keep our maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," said Google. "Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve internet access and disaster relief – areas Google has long been interested in."

Although a fee has been agreed between the two companies, the takeover process remains subject to customary closing conditions, such as the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US, before it can be formally completed.

Skybox was founded in 2009 and the company's satellites provide video images and stills at a resolution of more than one million pixels, which means they are capable of tracking a moving car along a road.

Self-driving cars

The purchase of Skybox may be tied in to Google's ongoing work with self-driving cars. The technology company recently revealed a prototype model of the vehicles, which it is claimed may soon be seen on roads all over the world. It is likely these will eventually replace taxi cabs, but regulations in many countries will have to be assessed to see if they are permitted.

A statement on the Skybox website stated that the firm "was founded on the premise that an ability to better understand these phenomena could fundamentally change the way humanity makes decisions on a daily basis – increasing the profitability of businesses and improving the welfare of societies worldwide".

The company added that it sees global activity as "the world’s largest data science problem", an issue that led to it coining the term Earth Observation 2.0. Satellites are viewed as sensors that are able to collect information, although Skybox stresses this technology is all seen by the firm as "a means to an end".

It says: "We don’t design and build our own systems for fun (though it is). We do it because it gives us the flexibility to address your needs in the way that works best for you."

The share price of Google fell by 0.28 per cent on the Nasdaq in the US last night (June 10th).

Find up to date information on the FTSE 100 and spread betting strategies at City Index

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.