- The Washington Times
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

A proposed multibillion-dollar transaction by Google announced on Tuesday is the latest indication that America’s largest technology companies’ growth plans are not deterred by antitrust scrutiny.

Google is acquiring cybersecurity firm Mandiant for an estimated $5.4 billion to bolster its cloud services offerings, both companies announced. The deal is expected to close later this year, following regulatory and stockholder approvals, and will bring Mandiant into the Google Cloud team.

“This is an opportunity to deliver an end-to-end security operations suite and extend one of the best consulting organizations in the world,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in a statement shared by Mandiant. “Together we can make a profound impact in securing the cloud, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing, and ultimately make the world safer.”

Antitrust enforcers have placed a target on Google‘s back, though they are mostly preoccupied with the tech giant’s advertising, app and search products that are separate from Google Cloud.

Antitrust legislation advanced by Senate committees this year includes proposals that would regulate Google’s app store and Google’s ability to self-preference its own products. Several state attorneys general also have pressed antitrust lawsuits against Google.

Such scrutiny did not stop Google from grabbing one of the most prominent names in cybersecurity, Mandiant, which appeared to capture the interest of a prominent Google competitor as well.

After Mandiant split off from cybersecurity firm FireEye last year, a rumor spread last month via Bloomberg that Microsoft was looking to acquire Mandiant.

Microsoft has not been quiet in growing via acquisitions either, and said in January it planned to acquire game developer Activision Blizzard in a deal Microsoft valued at $68.7 billion that is expected to close in the 2023 fiscal year.

Google ultimately prevailed in its pursuit of Mandiant, which both companies portrayed as a win-win relationship. Mandiant’s maneuvering means Google gets better threat detection and intelligence services and new automation and response tools, among other things, according to Google.

Mandiant, meanwhile, touted Google’s “speed and scale” for its cybersecurity offerings.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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