The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority to consider an investigation of the acquisition of Lookers by Google, was announced yesterday.
The $2.6bn (£2bn) deal, first announced in the summer, is intended to help Google bolster its position as a global data and cloud specialist, where it has some ground to make up on market leader, Amazon.
The CEO of fast-growing UK-based data visualisation and data analytics software developer Panintelligence, which like Looker helps clients visualise trends and inform decisions from huge data sets, has expressed support for the deal as a “natural development in the data sector”.
Panintelligence is one of a handful of niche specialists in the field of data visualisation and analytics, and received ($5.85bn) £4.5m in Series A funding last month (25 November) to aid its own global expansion, pointing to the wider interest in the data analytics sector.
“There have been some big names coming in to acquire niche visualisation tools that help the data sector take forward the whole proposition of big data and AI.“But we are surprised that the decision has been taken to look more closely at the deal, as while there are a small number of specialists in visualisation globally, there is certainly competition and free access in the UK to alternatives, such as our own technology,” said Panintelligence CEO Zandra Moore.
The Panintelligence ‘Pi’ suite of software enables businesses to use data in almost any format to trigger reports, and visualise trends in real-time. The software currently has over 200,000 users worldwide across a wide range of industry sectors, from retail and education to local government and healthcare.
“Our own software is already used by some of the world’s leading credit providers, some of the largest US retail and logistics business as their analytics engine, and we are an independent start-up from the UK. As such we’re formally writing to the Competition and Markets Authority to share our view that from our perspective as a direct competitor, the deal is fair enough and makes perfect business sense.
“Despite our comparatively small scale we already compete directly with Tableau and PowerBI applications, and each has its place in the market. There’s no real barrier to us being used by global firms and we don’t see an issue arising in the future from the Google acquisition, and obviously we’ll keep an eye on how the BigQuery develops if the deal goes through.
“In fact, the deal has drawn attention to the huge improvements that are taking place to empower businesses to make more of their data in real time, so as well as being fair, and making perfect business sense, we welcome the spotlight it places on the sector,” added Moore.