We often hear rumors about offers and counteroffers whenever a major company makes a big acquisition. For example, when Snapchat was reportedly being courted, it received multiple bids from Facebook and Google. The same was rumored for WhatsApp, which Facebook ultimately bought for $19 billion, and Google claimed it hadn’t even placed a bid. Recently several reports claimed Facebook was interested in drone maker Titan Aerospace, offering as much as $60 million. Google today announced that it has acquired Titan Aerospace.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google hasn’t disclosed the financial terms behind this acquisition. However, the company did confirm that following the acquisition, about 20 or so employees of Titan will continue to work in their New Mexico office. Titan’s CEO Vern Raburn will continue running the day to day operations.
Titan Aerospace develops high-altitude solar powered drones. It claims that these drones can provide speeds of up to 1GB per second and hopes to begin commercial operations by next year. Speeds of 1GB per second are faster than most broadband connections in the U.S. as well as other developed countries.
In a statement, a Google spokesman said that atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people around the world, particularly those in remote locations. “It’s still early days,” the spokesman said. Even DARPA has been thinking around the same lines. It is working on a project that utilizes unused drones from Iraq and kits them with a pod that can provide internet where needed.