Google to Buy Malibu Next?
The news that Google is buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion made me wonder what other acquisitions might come soon for the tech giant.
As of June 30, 2011, Google had $39.1 billion in cash and marketable securities. Subtract $12.5 billion plus $500 million for gas, electric and incidentals, and they have roughly $26 billion left over.
My first thought was: buy Detroit. The city has fallen on tough times, but it's centrally located just northeast of Chicago. The price is right. I bet Google could buy the whole city for $4 billion, or less.
By the way, Detroit has a surprisingly nice airport. If you pass through, I highly recommend the Musashi sushi restaurant. Or maybe it was the Sora? One of those is very good.
Of course, buying Detroit is fraught with political implications. Some might accuse Google of trying to start a small nation-state. Plus, the weather is bad.
So, if Google is going to move boldly and buy a city, they might be better off acquiring Malibu. Yes, real estate values are inflated there, but the hillsides just inland aren't that expensive, thanks to their tendency to:
a.) Dissolve into mudslides
b.) Be ravaged by wildfires
c.) Be parched by drought
d.) Get destroyed by earthquakes
Armed with a treasure trove of the world's knowledge, my bet is that Google could solve these problems by giving their employees an extra 5% of free time to experiment. It might speed things up to award $10 million to the best Stabilize Malibu idea.
Once Google owns Malibu, it can build new campuses there, or simply buy Pepperdine University, which has the best view of any college in the world. Then it can invite Hollywood producers and large advertisers there for an endless series of parties designed to increase ad revenue. Think Playboy Mansion 2.0.
Some might argue that Google should invest its cash in strategic partners and innovative technologies. To that, I say: AOL.
Strategic purchases have a way of going south. But they aren't making any more land. Come on Google, buy Malibu.