If you thought that the purse strings over in Mountain View might be running a bit tight following the decision to fork out $12.5 billion on Motorola (a deal that has yet to be finalised) then think again.

In 2011 the company has acquired no fewer than 56 companies and startups, shelling out a whopping $1.4 billion in the process.

The figures came to light after the Big G filed its Form 10-Q accounts with the United States Securities and Commission board, detailing all of its financial info for the current annum.

Last year it acquired 48 companies and that without the huge takeover of one of the world's largest mobile communication businesses.

The big outlays for Google were $676 million takeover of ITA, a travel company that has led to the introduction of the Google flight scanner, the $151 million buyout of Zagat and $114 million spent on Daily Deals.

The remaining 54 acquisitions accounted for $502 million, roughly ten million dollars a pop for each company.

When you see figures like this, it makes the takeover talk of Hulu, webOS and even Yahoo seem all the more realistic.

It also shows just how the startup culture of Silicon Valley seems to evolving into a game of courtship for acquisition rather than the traditional flirting for venture capital. Aside from the obvious exceptions, such as Twitter, the big boys like Google, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Apple are always on the prowl.

And they've all money to burn it seems.