GAFA: What can we learn from their acquisition strategies?

Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—collectively known as GAFA—are among the richest companies on the planet, with $1.7 trillion between them. The four frequently splurge on smaller companies, whether they plan to absorb new innovations or halt a growing competitor.

In the battle to gain market share, acquire new talent, and develop new products, these companies often depend on mergers and acquisitions. With a combined market value of $1.7 trillion, GAFA has the means to buy almost any business. What can we learn about their respective growth strategies from the ways they spend this unprecedented wealth?

Amazon prioritizes big names around the world, whether it’s Whole Foods Market or the company’s Middle Eastern counterpart, Google is moving into hardware and data, while Apple and Facebook use their ample wealth to bolster their respective points of differentiation in a competitive market.

The history of business is littered with companies deemed ‘too big to fail,’ who ultimately fell by the wayside. GAFA is fully aware of this, and uses acquisitions to maintain their edge while continuing to grow so rapidly.

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