Google To Buy SkyBox for $500 Million

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PARIS — Technology giant Google and satellite Earth imaging startup Skybox Imaging on June 10 announced that Google is purchasing Skybox for $500 million in cash, subject to adjustments, and hopes to use Skybox’s imaging technology “over time … to improve internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in.”

The transaction, which had been rumored for weeks but was concluded at a lower price than some had expected, is the latest in a series of announcements and unpublicized activities that all find Google maneuvering to establish a major position in connectivity and the dissemination of imagery through satellites.

Google is behind a company based in Britain’s Channel Islands, called WorldVu and registered as L5, that is proposing to launch several hundred satellites into low Earth orbit to provide global Internet broadband links.

Mountain View, California-based Skybox has launched one high-resolution satellite and plans a constellation of them to provide high-resolution static imagery and video.

Five-year-old Skybox, in a June 10 announcement, said: “The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision.”