US: Google has finally confirmed that it has entered into an agreement to buy Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, subject to adjustments. The deal value is exactly half of what the industry experts and grapevine sources had suggested in June.
According to the announcement made by Google, Skybox’s satellites will help Google Maps deliver more accurate with up-to-date imagery. In the announcement, Google also clarified that Skybox might also be used for Google’s ambitious internet via satellite project. “Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in,” the statement read.
Commenting on the deal Skybox officials have said, “Skybox and Google share more than just a zip code. We both believe in making information (especially accurate geospatial information) accessible and useful. And to do this, we’re both willing to tackle problems head on — whether it’s building cars that drive themselves or designing our own satellites from scratch.”
Experts opine that with the advent of Google in this arena, leading satellite imagery firms too would be affected. In addition, Skybox had recently entered into a multi-year, strategic partnership with Japan Space Imaging (JSI), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, to provide high-resolution imagery and full motion (90 seconds) commercial video to the Japanese market.
Source: Skybox Imaging and Google