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By Maria Michelini

April 11th 2024

Social media

Google's Potential Acquisition of HubSpot: Anticipating Antitrust Scrutiny and Market Dynamics

April 11th 2024

Speculation persists regarding Google's rumoured interest in acquiring HubSpot, a major player in customer relationship management (CRM) software. Reuters' initial report sparked widespread discussion in financial circles, raising questions about the logic and implications of such a move.

While Google hasn't officially made a bid for the $35 billion-valued online marketing software company, analysts are discussing the prospect and its impact on competition. As the leading digital advertiser globally, Google might see value in integrating HubSpot's marketing expertise to enhance its advertising platform, potentially attracting customers who typically seek such services elsewhere.

Yet, if the deal goes through, it could position HubSpot more competitively in the CRM landscape, where it currently holds modest market share compared to industry giants like Salesforce and Adobe. Leveraging Google's cloud infrastructure could empower HubSpot to enhance its offerings and offer more compelling pricing, potentially reshaping its standing in the market.

However, despite arguments suggesting minimal competition constraints in the CRM sector due to existing major players such as Microsoft, Salesforce, and Adobe, concerns remain regarding possible antitrust scrutiny. Seth Bloom, a former counsel for the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee, anticipates regulatory resistance if Google pursues the acquisition, indicating a challenging time ahead.

Major technology companies have been discouraged from pursuing large-scale acquisitions due to growing antitrust scrutiny. The most recent significant acquisition was Microsoft's $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, despite regulatory hurdles.

However, Adobe's proposed $20 billion acquisition of Figma was abandoned in December due to regulatory concerns. These examples underscore the increasing challenges faced by tech giants in navigating antitrust regulations for multibillion-dollar deals.

Should Google proceed with its bid, preparations for a protracted legal battle seem inevitable, with both Google and HubSpot needing to defend their position against antitrust allegations.

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