It’s fairly common knowledge that bigger companies tend to buy smaller companies. In fact, many of the popular companies are owned by just under 20 of the world’s largest ones. And if you take a look at all the big company acquisitions that have happened in the last couple of decades, all of the leading companies are going to seem like they are intertwined. This has been a very hot trend over the years, and it has just kept increasing in popularity as other companies have emerged. These giants are all about buying the hottest new startups, and the results tend to be great – on both sides!

For starters, just eBay alone has over 60 acquisitions in total. Their first one was just 3 years after the company was founded, in 1998. They purchased Up4Sale, an online auction company, which was similar to what eBay was already offering both their buyers and their sellers. Over the years they’ve made plenty of big purchases, such as Craigslist, where people can buy and sell things, but also offer services and look for jobs. eBay also acquired StumbleUpon, a discovery engine where the users rated their newly discovered websites. But there were two acquisitions that were far bigger and more important than the rest, and they included PayPal – a fluid and secure way for their users to do transactions; and Skype Technologies, the famous telecommunications company.

Similarly, Amazon, as the biggest competitor, has made plenty of acquisitions too. They’ve actually gone into several market sectors in this manner. They purchased Zappos, which was an incredible customer service company that they integrated into their own staff. They also bought Kiva Systems, which nowadays is known as Amazon Robotics. Some of their more popular acquisitions include Audible, the leader in audiobooks and Twitch, a video live streaming company. Twitch was also one of their most expensive purchases, just a few hundred million dollars behind Zappos and Whole Foods.

Another internet giant, Expedia quickly established itself as the number one travel provider in the world by active acquisitions and spin-offs. Throughout the years, it acquired TripAdvisor, Travelocity, and Trivago. The most recent expansions were particularly impressive, with the purchase of Orbitz for $1.2 billion and HomeAway for the staggering $3.9 billion. Expedia constantly expands its portfolio, and it currently runs over 200 traveling websites and services. Despite – or maybe thanks to? – the impressive diversity of travel sites, Expedia management demonstrates that the company is flexible and well-suited for growth, as it continues to receive numerous accolades for its business practices.

You can see the infographic below to get a better image of who’s bought who between the biggest companies worldwide.

The Web World: Who Owns Who?


View the full infographic here.

What are your thoughts on the different acquisitions made by eCommerce giants over the years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.