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Fierce competition exists in the Silicon Valley with technology companies relentlessly trying to outperform each other. In a similar effort, Google Inc. (GOOGL - Analyst Report) recently acquired Titan Aerospace, a startup that builds solar-powered drones.

Reportedly, last month, Facebook (FB - Analyst Report) was in discussions to buy Titan, but instead opted for Ascenta, a UK-based drone builder. The financial terms of the deal were kept confidential but all Titan employees will join Google.

Titan Aerospace is a New Mexico-based startup that builds solar powered, jet-sized atmospheric drones, which can fly at a height of 65,000 feet and have an impressive 5 year aerial lifespan.

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that are either controlled by pilots from the ground or are pre-programmed to execute specific missions. Drones vary greatly in size – some are as massive as jumbo jets, while others are so small that they can fit in a child’s palm. With applications ranging from surveillance to agriculture to pizza delivery as well as extreme photography and rescue operations, the drone technology is still in a nascent stage.

Google has its own plans as far as the acquisition is concerned. These are similar to Facebook’s global Internet initiative, Internet.org. Google plans to apply this technology to make Internet access available in remote areas of the world. Drones can deliver Internet to these areas at lower costs than the satellites. Google wants to use these long-lasting, high-altitude drones to support its Project Loon, a project aimed at providing Internet access for the entire world using hot-air balloons.

Moreover, these independent vehicles also are beneficial for Google’s airborne wind turbines project, Makani. Also, the ability of these drones to capture dependable, high resolution images of the Earth combined with the ability to support data analytics services can enhance Google’s mapping services.

Google, the world's largest online search engine, is increasingly strengthening its foothold in new markets.

Pandora Media, Inc. (P - Snapshot Report) and Interxion Holding NV (INXN - Snapshot Report), which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), are better-ranked stocks from the same sector and therefore worth considering.
 

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