Over the last couple of decades, a merger and acquisition fever has swept through the Internet's largest businesses. It seems that major companies such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Microsoft, to name a few, are all addicted to buying the rights, assets and control of other smaller (but by no means small) companies.
The truth is, most of the Internet's most popular websites and services are owned by only a handful of companies we are familiar with. Did you know, for example, that when you buy a pair of Beats headphones, some of your money gets funneled back to Apple? It is true, and it may surprise you to learn just who owns some of the Internet's most popular websites.
Here is our list of four major internet companies that dominate the market and are addicted to acquiring other companies.
For example, Google owns YouTube which it acquired in 2006, Blogger.com and operates smartphone brands such as Pixel and Nexus phone brands.
Over time, Expedia has taken over travel websites such as Trivago, Hotels.com and HomeAway. It also owns Hotwire.com, the car-rental company. It is clear that Expedia is determined to keep its place as the travel market leader.
The company is famous for providing its competitive and low-cost booking service for flights, hotels, vacations and other services. Expedia offers and discount codes have made it wildly successful and millions of people use it each year.
Started at Harvard by Mark Zuckerberg as a campus-based photo book of other students, Facebook is now a worldwide household name which pretty much everyone uses.
It is not just the social network which Facebook operates, though. The company owns other big names such as WhatsApp, Oculus Rift and Instagram.
One of the pioneers of early modern computing is Microsoft and this has always given it a competitive advantage when it comes to growth and expansion.
The Microsoft brand has grown massively over the years and it now owns and operates brands such as XBOX, Skype, LinkedIn and Mojang, the company which created Minecraft.
These are just four of the many internet companies who, between them, own and operate a substantial amount of companies on the internet. eBay, Amazon, TripAdvisor and Apple have all played their part in taking over a huge number of the Internet's most popular websites, brands and services.
Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about who owns who in the online world!