The 10 biggest acquisitions of 2014

Steven Loeb · December 30, 2014 · Short URL:

Facebook made two of the biggest deals this year with acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus

It's the end of the year, meaning it's time to look back on the last 12 months and  try to make some sense of it. That means looking at trends, and some of the most important stories that hit.

When we did our list of top exits in 2014 earlier this week, I couldn't help but notice the vast majority were IPOs. In fact, all but three of them were companies that went public.

So, in the interest of giving you as much information as possible, here is the list of the top acquisitions since the beginning of the year, based on the list compiled by Paste Magazine.

1. DirecTV

Acquirer: AT&T

Price: $48.5 billion

The deal still needs to be approved by regulators, but if it does go through, then the merged companies will have roughly 26 million TV subscribers. That would make it the second largest cable company behind only one other deal that is still pending.

Speaking of which...

2. Time Warner

Acquirer: Comcast

Price: $45 billion

If the deal goes through, it will bring together the first and second largest cable providers in the country, and give it 33 million subscribers altogether. The review was recently halted due to delays in getting documents from Time Warner Cable, and the merger is said to be on thin ice. I'm sure it doesn't help that these are the two most disliked companies in the country.

3.  WhatsApp

Acquirer: Facebook

Price: $22 billion

The biggest acquisition of the year that has gone through, and one that kicked the mobile messaging space into high gear, leading to other purchases and investments, including Alibaba's $215 million investment in Tango, Rakuten's $900 million purchase of Viber and  the purchase of Bubbly the social messaging service where people share text and voice updates, by Indian social networking company Altruist.

The deal was completed in August.

4. Concur

Acquirer: SAP

Price: $8.3 billion

Together, Concur and SAP will transact more than $600 billion annually, and the purchase will expand SAP’s business network to reach into the corporate travel spectrum. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

5. Nest Labs

Acquirer: Google

Price: $3.2 billion

Google's pricetag for Nest, which it  was the most the company has ever spent on a startup acquisition. The deal closed was announced in January and closed in February.

6. Beats

Acquirer: Apple

Price: $3 billion

Apple completed its $3 billion acquisition of Beats in August, and now it looks as though it will be rebranded as iTunesbundled into iOS and rolled out to customers next year.

7. Motorola 

Acquirer: Lenovo

Price: $2.9 billion

Lenovo bought the smartphone business from Google to expand to new markets. Motorola recently announced a slew of new products, including two new smartphones, a smart watch and a new wireless earbud.

8. Mojang 

Acquirer: Microsoft

Price: $2.5 billion

The team behind the hit game Minecraft joined Microsoft Studios, but co-founders Markus "Notch" Persson, Carl Manneh and Jakbok Porser all left. Don't feel bad at all for them: Persson was able to use the money he made from the deal to outbid Jay-Z and Beyonce for a $70 million mansion in Beverly Hills.

9. Oculus

Acquirer: Facebook

Price: $2 billion

The deal included $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which are valued at $1.6 billion. In addition, the agreement also provided for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.

The company had raised $93.4 million in venture capital funding

10. AirWatch

Acquirer: VMWare

Price: $1.5 billion

Founded in 2003, AirWatch is a mobile security and enterprise mobility management provider, with solutions that include mobile device, email, application, content, laptop and browser management. The company delivers solutions for either Corporate Owned or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. It raised $225 million in venture capital.

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes