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Google Is Selling Its Satellite Business to Planet Labs

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai at an event at Taj Palace Hotel on Jan. 4, 2017 in New Delhi, India.Virendra Singh Gosain—Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Google has taken a step back from the satellite business.

The search giant plans to sell its Terra Bella satellite unit to satellite imaging startup Planet Labs, the two companies said Friday.

Google and Planet Labs did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said that after the sell is complete, Google will buy satellite-imagery from Planet Labs in a multi-year contract.

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Bloomberg News first reported in January that Google (GOOG) was in talks to sell its satellite unit to Planet Labs in part to scale back its ambitious global Internet connectivity project, which involved beaming the Internet to Earth via satellites.

“Terra Bella has accomplished a lot in the past two years—including the design and launch of five more satellites,” Jen Fitzpatrick, a Google vice president of product and engineering, said in a statement. “We’re excited to see what’s ahead for Terra Bella, and look forward to being a long-term customer.”

In 2014, Google bought the satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500 million and then changed its name in 2016 to Terra Bella.

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“From the start, Planet and Terra Bella have shared similar visions and approached aerospace technology from a like-minded position, and while our on-orbit assets and data are different, together we bring unique and valuable capabilities to users,” John Fenwick, a Terra Bella co-founder, said in a statement.