February 13, 2020 / 8:19 AM / 4 days ago

Google seals takeover of Looker after UK green light

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc-owned Google said on Thursday it has completed its $2.6 billion buyout of privately held big-data analytics firm Looker Data Sciences after winning clearance from Britain’s competition watchdog.

Google announced the cash deal in June, the first major acquisition for its new cloud business Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kurian. The deal aims to build upon the success of Google Cloud’s BigQuery, a tool for managing large datasets.

Looker’s tool enables analysts and other workers to define calculations for items such as revenue or high-value customers and then visualize trends in their data without writing complicated scripts. It competes with Tableau Software Inc, Domo Inc and Microsoft’s Power BI.

The Competition and Markets Authority said its probe found the deal would not adversely impact quality of service or competition in the market for data analytics tools and software.

The CMA added that the deal was unlikely to lead to increased prices or lower quality as the two are not considered close competitors by businesses who use business intelligence tools as they can choose from other providers including Microsoft, Oracle, Tableau, SAP and IBM.

Google’s cloud computing division is a distant third globally to Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in terms of revenue from renting infrastructure and other computing tools to businesses.

“Although Google had the ability to make it difficult for rivals to access the Google-generated data they need from online advertising and web analytics services, there was no strong evidence they would have the incentive to do this,” the CMA found.

The deal has also been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.

“We believe we will be uniquely positioned to address the data analytics and business intelligence demands of even more enterprises globally, across all industries,” said Kurian in a statement announcing the completion of the acquisition.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Patrick Graham

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