The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google and Apple are not only increasingly in each others' space, but getting into each others faces in a battle to acquire -- and prevent each other from acquiring -- strategic startups. Google was in "serious discussions" to buy online music streaming service Lala before Apple swooped in and nabbed it for $85 million. Likewise, Apple was interested in picking up Admob to protect information about its App Store before Google grabbed it for $750.
Google, which has nearly $22 billion in cash, has been particularly active. In addition to AdMob, Google bought display-ad company Teracent Corp. and Internet-phone provider Gizmo5 Technologies Inc. in November. Last week it purchased AppJet Inc., a maker of online collaboration software.
Apple, which has $34 billion in cash, has been exploring buying iPhone-related technologies that it doesn't yet have, say people familiar with the matter. Its moves are generating particular attention because Apple has made fewer acquisitions than other companies of its size.
All this follows Google's launch of Android OS for Smartphones, Chrome OS for netbooks, CEO, Eric Schmidt, leaving Apple's board of directors, and Apple denying Google Voice and Google Latitude entry into the iPhone App Store.
Again, TiPb just wants to make sure users are the ones that benefit from great smartphones and services in the end. In a battle between King Kong and Godzilla, it's important we're the audience enjoying a great experience, and not the city folk fleeing as the monsters stomp all over us.