Thursday 6 June 2019 3:48 pm

Google Cloud buys analytics firm Looker for $2.6bn

Google will buy analytics firm Looker for $2.6bn (£2bn) as it looks to expand its cloud offerings.

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The deal is the first big move for the company’s new cloud chief, Oracle veteran Thomas Kurian, who replaced Diane Greene last year.

The acquisition is Google’s largest since it bought Nest Labs for $3.2bn in 2014.

Looker provides a visualisation tool that helps customers spot patterns in their data. It competes with tools such as Tableau and Microsoft Corp’s Power BI.

The acquisition will add new analytics tools to Google Cloud’s offerings, which have struggled to compete with rival services from Amazon and Microsoft.

“The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will help us offer customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualizing results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows,” Kurian said.

Amazon Web Services holds a 65 per cent cloud market share, according to analysts at Jefferies, compared with 25 per cent for Microsoft and just 10 per cent for Google.

“This is a true built-for-cloud visualisation tool, and it signals Google Cloud is serious about making acquisitions,” said Ray Wang, a cloud industry analyst at Constellation Research.

The deal builds on an existing partnership between Google and Looker, who share more than 350 customers including Buzzfeed, Hearst and Yahoo.

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The acquisition is set to be completed later this year.