Here are 10 companies Amazon could buy to maintain its lead as the biggest cloud in the world, according to experts - including Oracle, Twilio, and Zoom
- Amazon Web Services currently has the biggest market share in the cloud industry, but analysts say it could look for more ways to grow through an acquisition in markets like cybersecurity or artificial intelligence.
- AWS has become even more important to Amazon's overall business, as fears of a recession swirl, analysts say: The future of the online retail industry is unclear, but cloud demand is only increasing.
- Plus, the current turbulence on the stock market is pushing down public company valuations, potentially making it more appealing for AWS to make cloud acquisitions.
- Business Insider compiled a list below of 10 potential AWS acquisition targets, according to analysts - including names like Twilio, Zoom, and even Oracle.
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The coronavirus pandemic has led to fears of a recession, in turn causing Silicon Valley VCs pull back on making big deals, even as tech startups begin to lay off employees as revenue dries up.
Still, some in tech - like Amazon Web Services, the online retailer's massively profitable cloud business - are poised to make it through just fine. Even as the coronavirus pandemic leads to uncertainty in Amazon's retail business as demand surges and Amazon prioritizes the shipment of essential goods, analysts have praised AWS as "recession-proof" because companies like Netflix and Zoom rely on the platform to power their own apps and services.
That relatively stable position, combined with turbulence on the stock market that's driving down public-company valuations, might mean that AWS takes the opportunity to make some big cloud acquisitions, says Jeb Su, principal analyst and vice president at Atherton Technology Research. If AWS can't develop a certain type of technology in-house, it will look to partner with, or even acquire, other companies, he says.
"They're very opportunistic," Su told Business Insider. "This time it's not going to be different...Amazon can move very quickly, especially when the price is not even right, when it's slow."
AWS isn't typically as acquisitive as Microsoft or Google. Microsoft spent more than $9 billion during its last fiscal year on acquisitions. Google Cloud, meanwhile, is explicitly looking to acquisitions to catch up to AWS and Microsoft in the cloud space.
Still, in general, AWS takes a "practical and opportunistic" approach to its M&A strategy, Su says. Most likely, AWS will look at technologies and services to help both its cloud and its core retail business become more efficient, such as in robotics, AI, logistics, and cybersecurity, he says.
Su also says that AWS could acquire cloud apps since it hasn't yet made a dent in the space the way its rivals Microsoft and Google Cloud has. He says AWS could look into collaboration apps like Zoom and Slack, but it's unlikely to actually acquire those giant companies. Likewise, Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst of Lopez Research, says AWS tends to buy more "small obscure tech."
Indeed, if AWS "decides to get on the M&A bandwagon," it could adopt the same approach as Apple, Microsoft or Cisco, which is to make "a flurry or really interesting small acquisitions," says Futurum Research analyst Daniel Newman.
Even though right now company valuations are dropping amid the coronavirus pandemic, Su says AWS would still acquire a company only if it's worth it.
"I don't believe AWSwill acquire a company because it's in trouble," Su said. "They will acquire a company because it makes sense in their strategy and makes sense in the technology stack."
Here are the 10 companies AWS could consider buying to boosts its cloud business, according to analysts:
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