Report: Google was in serious talks to acquire Lala before Apple pulled the trigger

Thu, Dec 10, 2009


Last week, Apple purchased Lala, a company that allows users to purchase and download songs or stream them from the web for just $.10 per song.  Apple’s purchase of the online music site, in conjunction with the massive data center it’s planning to build in North Carolina, seems to suggest that Apple is planning to expand the functionality of iTunes to include the option for users to stream their music library from the cloud.

But in a new twist on Apple’s latest acquisition, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that prior to Apple and Lala signing on the dotted line, Google was seriously considering purchasing the company as well – a fact which drives home the fact that Apple and Google’s days of playing nice may soon be over.

The twin pursuit of the start-ups reveal that the two tech titans have further plans to move deeper into each other’s business: Apple wanted to get into advertising, while Google sought a music service…

These people say Apple also tried to buy AdMob as a defensive measure to keep Google from learning details about its App Store. AdMob, which sells ads inside applications, has access to data about the mobile marketplace.

Meanwhile, Google is getting more ambitious about digital music, an area where Apple’s iTunes has been dominant. Google recently launched a music search and listening service with Lala as one of several partners.

A few years ago, the notion that Apple and Google were competitors was utterly laughable.  But now, a quick look at some of Google’s latest initiatives evokes a different response.  Google’s Chrome browser, its upcoming Chrome OS, and it’s increasingly popular Android mobile OS all compete, either directly or indirectly, with products from Apple.  And with Google now putting its toe into musical waters, it’s clearly demonstrated an intent to cross over into Apple’s part of the pool.  We should also point out that there are rumblings that Google will release their own branded smartphone sometime in 2010, though Google has denied this.


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