Google to acquire satellite company Skybox for $500 million

11 June 2014 | Kavit Majithia

Google is set to acquire satellite company Skybox Imaging for approximately $500 million in cash.

The deal represents Google’s second high-profile acquisition of an aerospace company this year, and the internet giant said it will utilise Skybox’s satellites for its online mapping services.

Google added that Skybox technology could eventually be used to provide internet access for disaster relief, and the deal builds on the company’s pledge to invest over $1 billion in satellite communications over the next few years.

Rival internet players Google and Facebook are investing in satellite and drone companies to extend internet access to untapped areas of the world.

In March, Facebook announced the launch of a “connectivity lab”, designed to develop satellites and technology to beam the internet to underdeveloped regions.

In a statement on its website, Skybox said: “The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think bigger and bolder and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision.”

Google made a similar acquisition in April, when it bought Titan Aerospace, a producer of solar-powered drones.

Skybox has launched one satellite and has plans to launch a constellation of 24, with its main business centred on taking high-resolution images and videos of earth.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval in the US.