Google has announced that it will be acquiring data analytics company Looker for $2.6bn in cash as it seeks to expand its influence in the cloud market.
The purchase is the first major acquisition since Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian replaced Diane Greene in November and is the tech giant's biggest purchase since buying smart home company Nest in 2014 for $3.2bn.
With the deal, Google will have access to an analytics platform that is used by around 1,700 companies including big names like Amazon, Etsy, Sony, Spotify and IBM.
"The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will help us offer customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualizing results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows," remarked Kurian.
"This acquisition builds on an existing partnership between our two companies where we share more than 350 joint customers... who are already using our products together to unlock the value of their business data."
Research from CenturyLink and Statista has predicted that the cloud market would be worth $411bn by 2020 and Google has been increasingly investing in the budding technology. However, it is a competitive industry, with Amazon's AWS, which reported $7.7bn in revenue in 1Q19, currently dominating the sector.
Google has said that its cloud business brings in more than $1bn per quarter.
Google is not alone in its efforts to take on AWS. Earlier this week, Microsoft and Oracle announced a new alliance as they attempt to become more competitive by linking their data centers.
According to a report from Canalys, at the end of 2018, Amazon held 32% of the cloud market, followed by Microsoft with 13.7% and Google in third place with 7.6%.