Google to Buy Skybox Imaging for $500 Million

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google said on Tuesday it has agreed to buy Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, subject to adjustments, as the Web search and mobile software giant tries to bolster its imaging capabilities.

>>Read More: Google to Buy Titan Aerospace in Internet Push

The deal, which has been the subject of speculation in media reports, will add Skybox's satellites to Google's highly popular mapping division, creating a new level of accuracy and up-to-date imagery for Google Maps, the company said. Furthermore, Skybox's imaging capabilities may allow Google to enter the arena of disaster relief, an area Google confirmed it has been interested in entering.

"Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," Google said on its corporate blog.

"Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief -- areas Google has long been interested in," the company added.

The deal is subject to antitrust review and other closing conditions. Google didn't specify what quarter it expects the Skybox deal to close.

Titan Aerospace

Google has had a busy year buying up aerospace and imaging assets that can be used for its mapping, imaging and web-connectivity projects.

In April, the company said it would buy drone-maker Titan Aerospace in a bid to improve the company's mapping capabilities.

Titan Aerospace had been rumored to be a target of Facebook until the social network bought Ascenta for $20 million.

Google said in April it would also use Titan Aerospace to bring internet access to regions of the world that continue to lack access and said that its efforts may also be used to help with global issues such as disaster relief and deforestation. 

>>Read More: Google to Buy Titan Aerospace in Internet Push

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.