It is surprising to see just how connected all of the main brands that we use are. In fact, just a few companies are the owners of the majority of the businesses that we interact with on pretty much daily basis. A huge number of brands are owned by just a few multinationals.
The world seems a lot smaller when you can see all the company acquisitions that have taken place over time. The main companies globally include Facebook, Google, eBay, Apple, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Microsoft, Tencent Holdings, and a few others. It is incredible to see just how many other companies are owned by these industry giants, many of which seem to be stand alone.
Since its founding, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) has acquired the staggering 59 companies overall. Some of these companies are also in the online auction industry, such as iBazar and Tradera. Some of eBay’s biggest buys were Skype in 2005 and PayPal in 2002.
There are many reasons for these acquisitions for both larger and the smaller companies. Smaller businesses get security and knowledge from the parent company. On the other hand, bigger companies may have purchased the smaller ones for a range of reasons.
Some of the most common include eliminating competition, acquiring technology and skilled workers, adding to their product range, having an additional source of income, sharing resources and many others.
To us consumers, buying and selling some of our favourite brands are likely to go unnoticed. In many cases, the purchaser may not make any changes to the purchased company, while in other circumstances they might entirely redesign how it runs.