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Google acquiring Skybox Imaging to improve mapping service [Big News Network (United Arab Emirates)]
[June 11, 2014]

Google acquiring Skybox Imaging to improve mapping service [Big News Network (United Arab Emirates)]

(Big News Network (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - Google Inc. has entered into an agreement to buy Skybox Imaging, a provider of high-quality satellite images, for $500 million in cash, subject to adjustments, the Internet search engine giant said in a statement Wednesday.

Acquisition of the 5-year-old satellite maker Skybox is expected to help Google improve its mapping service. Satellites built by Skybox are packed with sensors and camera electronics that take high-resolution images and video of the earth but which it claims are smaller and lighter than traditional satellites.

Based in Mountain View, California like Google, Skybox has launched one satellite and plans to launch a constellation of 24 satellites, according to the company's website.

Google is banking on its newest acquisition to help it boost both its Internet service offerings and its disaster relief efforts.

"Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief areas Google has long been interested in," the company stated.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US.

Google Inc said it is acquiring Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, the Internet company's second high-profile acquisition of an aerospace company this year.

The latest acquisition by Google comes at a juncture when like rival Facebook Inc it is racing to snap up satellite and drone companies in an effort to expand the reach of its businesses. Internet social network Facebook had disclosed in March a special "Connectivity lab" project that would be developing satellites, drones and other technology to help improve Internet connectivity in underdeveloped parts of the world.

The very next month, Google had acquired New Mexico based Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, for an undisclosed sum. It also launched a small network of balloons to provide Internet access over the Southern Hemisphere.

"The time is right to join a company which can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and which can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision," Skybox said on in its Website on Tuesday in a message announcing the deal with Google.

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