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Google Buys Drone-Making Company That Facebook Previously Eyed

Google is buying the drone-making company that Facebook had previously sought to purchase, as both companies pursue projects to expand global connectivity.

In a press release, Titan Aerospace, a start-up maker of high-altitude drones, said it was joining Google. "It’s still early days for the technology we’re developing, and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it’s providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation," the company said.

Google is buying Titan Aerospace, a company previously courted by Facebook, that makes solar-powered drones like the Solara 50.
Google is buying Titan Aerospace, a company previously courted by Facebook, that makes solar-powered drones like the Solara 50. AP

Neither company disclosed the purchase price in the deal, which was earlier reported by Dow Jones.

However, in February, rival Facebook was reported to be buying Titan Aerospace for $60 million, but it never went through with the deal and instead bought another solar-powered drone company, Ascenta, for $20 million.

Titan's solar-powered drones can reportedly stay airborne for five years.

Last summer Google launched Project Loon, a pilot program testing Internet access via solar-powered helium balloons. Facebook and Google are only two of the players in a multibillion-dollar race to connect the globe.

- CNBC