Alphabet shares close lower on Thursday, Google finalizes acquisition of Looker Data Sciences after CMA approval

Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOG) has finalized its $2.6 billion acquisition of privately held big-data analytics company Looker Data Sciences after Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority approved the deal.

Alphabet shares closed lower for the third time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Thursday. The stock edged down 0.24% ($3.61) to $1,514.66, after touching an intraday low at $1,504.98, or a price level not seen since February 10th ($1,474.32).

Shares of Alphabet Inc have risen 13.29% so far in 2020 compared with a 4.43% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Alphabet’s stock went up 29.10%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

The cash deal, which is expected to build upon the success of Google Cloud’s BigQuery, was announced last June.

A probe by the UK Competition and Markets Authority has concluded that the deal would not have an adverse effect on competition or quality of service in the market for data analytics tools and software.

“Although Google had the ability to make it difficult for rivals to access the Google-generated data they need from online advertising and web analytics services, there was no strong evidence they would have the incentive to do this,” Britain’s CMA stated.

The Austrian Federal Competition Authority and the US Department of Justice have also approved the acquisition.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 42 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Alphabet Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $1,600.00, with a high estimate of $1,800.00 and a low estimate of $1,270.00. The median estimate represents a 5.63% upside compared to the closing price of $1,514.66 on February 13th.

The same media also reported that at least 37 out of 46 surveyed investment analysts had rated Alphabet Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 5 – as “Hold”.

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