Who Should Apple Buy? Google Autocomplete Suggests Acquisitions

In case you haven’t noticed, Apple is ridiculously wealthy and just keeps getting ridiculously wealthier. As of its earnings call Monday, the company has $146.8 billion in the bank. That’s not only a record for cash on hand, it’s 10% of all corporate cash (not counting financial companies) on the planet.

The drumbeat for Apple to do something with that money — perhaps a stock buyback, per Carl Icahn’s suggestion; perhaps a few major acquisitions — has been growing for years. But Apple isn’t alone. Most major tech giants have substantial piles of cash burning holes in their wallets.

Microsoft has $68 billion in the bank. Google has a not-too-shabby $50 billion. Yahoo and Amazon have about $5 billion apiece. Facebook has a couple of billion to play with.

Clearly, these companies are spoiled for choice. To give them some ideas — and to get the economy moving again — we decided to ask that oracle of all things in the modern world, Google autocomplete. Here’s what the algorithm — based on both search results and web content — told us.

Apple Should Buy …


Apple has long needed an out-of-the-box play to shake the company up and enter new product categories — and autocomplete has just the thing! Its first suggestion: Elon Musk’s disruptive electric car maker Tesla. It makes sense: both companies are obsessed with design, precision manufacturing, storefronts, and the luxury market. Apple’s cash hoard could help construct a nationwide network of charging stations within a year. Are you ready for the iRoadster?

Amazon Should Buy …


Amazon doesn’t have anywhere near the cash to buy Netflix (market cap: $18 billion), and it already has a streaming video service in Amazon Prime. But maybe the WebOS, currently owned by LG, could come in handy for a new range of Kindles?

Facebook Should Buy …


The social network has consistently denied that it is interested in manufacturing a Facebook phone. But Autocomplete knows better, and it knows where to find a whole heap of cheap smartphone engineers. Mark Zuckerberg had better save up his pennies for BlackBerry, currently worth around $4.7 billion.

Google Should Buy …


Autocomplete saves its most ambitious suggestion for its parent company: Google should buy the entire city of Detroit? Or perhaps it means the big three automakers? We’re betting the city currently comes a little cheaper.

Microsoft Should Buy …


Microsoft could certainly afford BlackBerry — but given that the company just paid $7.2 billion for Nokia’s manufacturing division and intellectual property, that might be one phone company too many. Atlus is a Japanese videogame maker that was acquired back in 2010. Chip-maker AMD, however, would be a smart play if Microsoft wanted to get further into the hardware market.

Yahoo Should Buy …


Another smart suggestion — after all, Yahoo has always harbored ambitions to be a broadcast media giant. Could Marissa Mayer afford content giant Hulu the way she snapped up Tumblr? Quite possibly, but it might hamper her ongoing startup-buying spree.

Are you seeing different autocomplete results in your region or country? Let us know in the comments.