Vol. 6, Issue 7, May 13, 2008
Google Sells Iceland, Trades Up to E.U.
Google, developer of the largest performance-based search engine, has announced that it is selling the nation of Iceland, just five years after purchasing the island nation in a move that surprised industry experts.
"A lot has changed since 2003," said Google co-founder Sergey Brin. "In 2003, it made sense for us to acquire Iceland. But our needs as a company have grown, and there is less use for a forbidding Googleplex of Doom situated on a volcanic island in today's geopolitical climate."
In the past several years, Google has seen its principal rivals, notably Yahoo, struggle with falling revenues and diminishing shares of the search engine market. It has also gone public, selling enough shares within the first 2 months to acquire approximately 40% of the available capital in the United States. In addition, the cities of San Francisco and La Jolla were renamed 'Pageville' and 'Brinville', respectively, in 2006 after an "exciting game of poker" with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"The thing is, Google has been struggling just a bit to maintain its once-pristine image," said Wired magazine editor Phil LaRue. "The whole 'don't be evil' mantra has been hard to maintain as they expanded their contextual ad programs, acquisitions of startup companies with potentially competing technologies, and orbital death ray network. I think that the dark spires of the Googleplex, perched atop the smoking peaks overlooking Reykjavik, just weren't sending the right message."
There are rumors that Google has not abandoned its territorial ambitions, however, and is in fact merely trading up as it bids to acquire the entire European Union.
"From a corporate culture standpoint, that makes a whole lot more sense," said LaRue. "Brin and Page have made no secret of their desire for a getaway in the Alps for some time. I think the main challenge is simply one of getting all the member states on the same page pricewise."
Reportedly, Google has already reached deals with 24 of the EU member states, with only Great Britain and Cyprus still holding out for better terms.
"Well, the 'labor shutdown' of the oil pipeline in the North Sea sent a pretty strong message to the Brits, I think," said LaRue. "Coincidence? Don't make me laugh. Do you really think Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants a tussle with Google at this point? Would you?"
Analysts suggest that trading up to the EU would not only give a boost to Google's image in the face of increasing criticism, but would also substantially cut down on the cost of providing gourmet meals to Google's employees, which currently costs nearly $7000 per employee annually.
"They would actually save money by shipping employees directly to Paris or Rome for fine dining, instead of importing five-star restaurant service to California," said LaRue. "It makes a certain financial sense."
Several buyers have expressed interest in purchasing Iceland, Microsoft foremost among them.
"We could always use another fortress on a dark and pointy mountain," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "You never have enough of those, as far as we're concerned."