Tech acquisitions in the past few years: What is expensive? What is cheap?

You might have heard the news: Salesforce acquired Tableau in a 15.7 billion USD deal this week. 15.7 billion sounds like a high number – and indeed, 15.7 billion seconds are almost 500 years. But like so often when I get confronted with a particular number in the news, I can’t help but ask myself: How does it compare?

So after two great monster Weekly Charts about the EU elections and the Marvel universe by my coworkers Simon and Fabian, I’m back…with a simple bar chart. A bar chart that sets things in comparison:

We can see that Salesforce paid more for Tableau than Amazon for Whole Foods, Microsoft for Skype or Github and Microsoft for Nokia’s handset business and key mobile IP licenses.

Chart Choices

Fun fact: I have actually never created a bar chart as a Weekly Chart up until now. Joshua has. And I’ve created stacked bar charts and split bar charts – but just a few rectangles next to text? In the last 82 Weekly Charts, this hasn’t happened.

But that doesn’t mean bar charts are bad – it just means there’s little to talk about when talking about them. And there’s little to mess up (although there are ways to do that too). Bar charts are maybe the simplest charts you can create.

But even in the simplest chart we can lead readers’ eyes with the help of colors. I want you to spot Tableau immediately within these 12 bars. So I give the Tableau bar a color that you cannot not see. Even if you’re just quickly scrolling through this article; your brain will think “wait a minute, what was that?” That’s the power of colors: they make your brain notice things.


The chart above neither covers the most expensive nor the most important tech acquisitions – just the ones that most of you might have heard of (because you know the brands). But let me know if there’s an acquisition missing that must be on this list. Until next week!

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