Who's Going To Buy Your Startup This Year?

Your nifty but profitless Web 2.0 startup obviously isn’t going IPO, so your exit strategy will depend on a deep-pocketed suitor. And the end of the free money era means you’re going to have rely on real companies, with real cash flow, (or at least real equity) to snap you up. So who’s buying?

Google, of course. But the search giant’s appetite, while voracious, doesn’t compare to Microsoft’s. Steve Ballmer has already announced that he’s looking to buy 20 companies a year, and was the most acquisitive company in the last year. The top 10, via BusinessWeek’s Spencer Ante’s Creative Capital blog:Microsoft (17)

Cisco (15)

Google (14)

Oracle (12)

EMC (12)

Hewlett Packard (11)

IBM (11)

Interactive Corps (9)

Yahoo! (6)

Nuance (4)

eBay (4)

So who looks most likely to open their checkbooks this year? Sound off in comments.

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