Media chatter suggests Google is equipping itself with an arsenal suitable to take down Facebook.
At least, that's how its acquisition of Jambool - developer of app monetisation tool Social Gold - is being pitched.
And if nothing else, Google has demonstrated it's prepared to spend cash too. The deal is estimated at $55 million upfront with an additional $15 million to $20 million depending on future performance.
Foes of Facebook
Still, the deal is a coalition of the willing, with Jambool not being a fan of Facebook's recent encroachment into the app monetisation business.
The launch of Facebook Credits, which will enable games on the social network to offer a standardised virtual currency, directly threatens Social Gold's payments business.
As such, the gloves have been off, with Jambool describing Facebook Credits as a poorer alternative to Social Gold back in April, and suggesting it might damage the social games scene on the platform in July.
"I believe we'll start seeing that there will be a lack of motivation for people to build on Facebook," said Jambool CEO and co-founder Vikas Gupta in an interview with Inside Social Games.
"That's a big thing we've seen in the last few months - that every developer is much more excited about building for off-Facebook distribution."
Setting its sights on social gaming
If the rumours are to be believed, Google will be hoping it can mop up any developer disinterest in Facebook as a social gaming tool as it prepares to expand its influence over the sector.
It will certainly be interesting to see if there's integration between Social Gold and the Google Checkout payment system.
As another part of the assault, Google picked up Slide the firm responsible for Facebook widgets such as SuperPoke and Top Friends for a reported $182 million last month.
Google has also reportedly invested a sizeable amount in Farmville creator Zynga, with CEO Eric Schmidt having recently confirmed that the two parties have entered into a strategic partnership.
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.
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