It was revealed earlier this week that Google has a current cash stockpile of $45 billion, and it's led some to wonder what the company might want to do with it. The same questions have surrounded Apple for quite a while as well, and with its hoarding of an enormous $137 billion, it's no wonder. As far as Google is concerned, though, there's no rush. What's important is having the cash on-hand when it's needed.
Case in point: Google's acquisition of Motorola, which set it back $12.4 billion. While a far cry from $45 billion, no company wants to be left insufficient funds when a prime acquisition option becomes available. While it's hard to speculate at this point what acquisition could cost Google even half of what it has on-hand, it's hard to fault the company for wanting to play it a bit safe. Google's Patrick Pichette expects shareholders to agree, "It serves the shareholder best to actually have that strategic ability to pounce".
Google's cash stockpile will come in handy if it decides to build 1,000 more of these
How large Google's shareholders will want this to get before taking action is unclear. Many on the Apple side have been urging Apple to do something - it has a bank vault that would made Scrooge McDuck wince, after all.
USA Today mentions that since its IPO, Google has purchased a total of 237 companies for a combined $11 billion. Many of these were smaller, with the bulk being taken up by YouTube ($1.76 billion) and DoubleClick for $2.3 billion. Given the enormity of YouTube, it's almost humorous to see that Google paid less for it, versus the ad-platform DoubleClick.