Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) has spent more than $22 billion on acquisitions in the last six years, roughly equal to the Uganda's gross domestic product and more than seven times Oprah Winfrey's estimated net worth.
The 10-year-old company has fed its growth with 47 purchases, including WhatsApp and Instagram.
Mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which the Menlo Park, California, company bought in February, was by far the most expensive acquisition, at $19 billion, followed by virtual reality developer Oculus at $2 billion, which Facebook bought in March. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012, up to that point its biggest deal. The remaining $426 million was spent on 44 other purchases, including Israeli start-up Face.com for its facial recognition software and Microsoft’s (Nasdaq:MSFT) ad serving business Atlas ($100 million each), a portfolio of social gaming site Friendster’s online social networking patents ($40 million) and social media update aggregator FriendFeed ($47.5 million).
To put $22 billion into perspective, marketing software developer Marketo created an infographic comparing the sum to the net worth of celebrities, values of sports teams, the price of making movies and more.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg is worth about $30 billion, less than half Bill Gates’s $76 billion but still dwarfing Oprah Winfrey’s $2.9 billion or George Lucas’s $4.9 billion.
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The Honduras, Afghanistan and Uganda most closely fit into $22 billion, with 2013 national GDP at $18.88 billion, $20.65 billion and $22.6 billion, respectively.
It turns out Facebook could have made dozens of expensive movies with $22 billion. The production cost of 13 blockbusters, including Tangled, Avatar, Spider Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Titanic, King Kong and The Avengers, was $2.4 billion.
Sports teams are more expensive than film production, hovering around $1.5 to $2.3 billion each. The Washington Redskins is valued at $1.56 billion, the New York Yankees are valued at $1.85 billion and Manchester United, England’s soccer club, is valued at $2.23 billion.