Schmidt To M&A Market: Call Me When You’re Cheaper

In the more-bad-news-for-VCs file, the cash cow known as Google has been deliberately inactive on the the M&A front because it’s waiting for “prices to get better,” according to CEO Eric Schmidt. Silicon Alley Insider reports that Schmidt told the Morgan Stanley tech conference conference today that Google’s M&A activity is “pretty inactive right now” because  “we’ve largely been waiting for prices to get better.”

Yes, you read that right. The company that had $15.85 BILLIOn in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities as of Dec. 31, is worried that it’s going to overpay for a startup.

SAI reports that Schmidt told the crowd: “The good news is we have lots of capital. The bad news is we’re still trying to get everybody into the model that we really want in terms of M&A. And I think it’ll start soon, but it’s pretty inactive right now.”


  • Arguably, Schmidt is absolutely right, but for different reasons. Google has failed again and again to effectively integrate startups into its product offerings. Any price it pays is likely too much. Dodgeball? Writely? The list is longer than I can remember.

  • So… are you saying that fairness of a price depends on how much money the buyer has? I don’t think I’d consider that good management.

  • Jon, you are right, of course. I was being glib.

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