The UK antitrust authorities are investigating whether Google’s acquisition of Looker will harm competition with other players. Google announced its intention to acquire Looker in June.
The acquisition of Looker was the first major acquisition under the leadership of Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud’s new CEO. The purpose of the acquisition was to compete better with AWS and Microsoft, Google’s largest cloud rivals.
Last in a series of investigations
The British investigation into Google is yet another investigation into the tech giant. Earlier, investigations had been initiated by the European Commission and the American Department of Justice. The fines that Google has had to pay so far now amount to a total of about 8 billion euros. A new investigation has also been launched by the EC, which is currently under way.
It is not yet clear why the acquisition of Looker by Google is seen as problematic for competition from the British authorities. After all, the Business Intelligence products of the main competitors are well developed. Microsoft has PowerBI, AWS offers QuickSight BI, and now Salesforce has become a significant player, with the acquisition of Business Intelligence platform Tableau.
Currently, Google only has Data Studio as a Business Intelligence product. Looker is to become part of the Big Query data warehouse service. This should allow users to build applications that are more data-driven.
It is questionable whether the investigation carried out by the British authorities really has anything to do with unfair competition. Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, told Silicon Angle that this is probably an action to show that the British want to make their mark on the market even after Brexit.