Google to bid for HubSpot amid antitrust scrutiny

The company’s large cash reserve and the need to generate returns drive its pursuit of a major acquisition, even amid antitrust scrutiny.

Buisinessman holding google logo

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is reportedly considering acquiring the marketing software company HubSpot. Despite experts’ views that it would not stifle competition in the market, the deal could face consequential opposition from regulators, even though Google is still preliminarily considering the potential deal and assessing the associated antitrust risks.

Several industry analysts and antitrust experts believe that an acquisition of HubSpot by Google would not negatively impact competition, considering major players like Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft, and Oracle in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software sector. Google does not currently compete in CRM, and the acquisition could strengthen HubSpot’s position with Google’s cloud-computing capabilities, leading to improved offerings and pricing for customers.

However, experts also anticipate that a Google-HubSpot deal would likely face challenges from US and EU antitrust regulators due to their increasing concerns about tech giants expanding through acquisitions. Former general counsel of the US Senate antitrust subcommittee, Seth Bloom, noted that such a deal would likely encounter a harsh reception from regulators and could lead to a lengthy court battle.

Why does it matter?

Google’s potential acquisition of HubSpot comes amid existing antitrust challenges, including lawsuits from the US Department of Justice accusing the company of abusing its position in online search and digital advertising markets. The EU also investigates Google and other tech firms for potential new Digital Markets Act (DMA) breaches.

The reported consideration of a major acquisition like HubSpot reflects Google’s desire to strategically deploy its substantial cash reserves, estimated at $110 billion, to generate returns. Google has historically avoided large acquisitions since it purchased Motorola Mobility over a decade ago, focusing instead on smaller deals in advertising. Despite its investments in AI, Google’s shareholder returns have trailed behind competitors like Microsoft and Meta Platforms in recent months, prompting interest in potential transformative acquisitions like HubSpot.