Is Facebook Trying To Out Google Google?

It’s no secret that Google tends to be an M&A-hungry animal.

It has picked up countless companies, it seems, thanks to a robust balance sheet and hefty cash piles.

And, we can see that, in many ways, Facebook has learned from Google as its sought a long-term place in the online Pantheon. So, it comes as no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg is developing an appetite for acquisitions.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to make some buys that will give it a facelift, increase service reliability and make a better move in mobile – where it has stiff competition from Google and twitter.

The magic number: 20.

After having made 10 acquisitions last year, Facebook is looking to double that amount in 2011 – a far cry from the one acquisition it made in 2009. Facebook has made 13 acquisitions already this year.

The goals around site design and mobile are intended to increase end user engagement (including time on site). Ostensibly, reliability addresses both the end user and advertisers (who provide the bulk of the company’s revenue). If the company is indeed planning to go public next year, it will hardly get the forgiveness for these problems that it has received in the past.

While Facebook may be eager to pick up a few more companies, in a bid to grow its projected $2 bn in 2011 EBITDA ahead of a 2012 IPO, it could face stiff competition from Google, which has an eye-popping $39.1 bn in cash. Google has clearly showed it can play in M&A, and that it has the resources to do so effectively.

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