Google is still buying loads of land in Europe, having continued its real estate push with a purchase of a 70-hectare (173-acre) plot in Noord-Holland, Netherlands. The move is meant to support Google's efforts to build more data centers on the Old Continent, though the latest piece of land acquired by the firm may not necessarily end up hosting such facilities anytime soon. In a statement provided to Bloomberg, a Google spokesperson explained the tech giant wants to keep its options open, which is why it has been amassing land properties in recent times. Alphabet's subsidiary already acquired plots in Luxembourg, Sweden, and Denmark, with more purchases being expected in the second half of the year.
Google's Dutch investment isn't unprecedented even though the company still isn't committing to building a data center on the Noord-Holland plot; the firm previously established one such facility in Eemshaven, a town in the northeastern Netherlands. That center set it back some €600 million, with the firm recently saying it will commit another €500 million ($582 million) to expand it, though it has yet to share many details about its plans to do so. Another one of Google's data centers in Belgium will also be expanded in the near future, the company confirmed. The value of its latest Dutch acquisition hasn't been disclosed, with Google rarely detailing its individual land acquisitions.
The tech juggernaut's data center push coincides with its growing cloud computing ambitions that are following the global demand for such services. Alphabet's consolidated financial report for the first quarter of 2018 revealed that the majority of Google's $7.7 billion worth of capital expenditures amounted to data infrastructure and artificial intelligence investments, with the former also being crucial to the later as solutions such as Google Assistant largely rely on cloud computing. The Mountain View, California-based Internet firm is likely to double down on its infrastructure bet moving forward as the majority of its business model transitions to the cloud.