Google invested $872 million in its Internet infrastructure in the third quarter of 2012, up from $774 million the previous quarter, the company said in its earnings announcement. Over the last four quarters, Google has invested nearly $3.2 billion in servers and mission-critical facilities, illustrating the strategic importance of data centers in Google's business.
Google's capital expenditures fluctuate from quarter to quarter. The latest uptick in spending comes as Google has announced its first data center project in South America, which will be located in Quilicura, Chile. The move reflects Google's growing focus on building out its international infrastructure, including three new facilities in three markets in Asia (Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong) and a new data center in Dublin.
Here's a look at Google's quarter-by-quarter spending on capital expenditures.
A capital expenditure is an investment in a long-term asset, typically physical assets such as buildings or machinery. Google says the majority of its capital investments are for IT infrastructure, including data enters, servers, and networking equipment. In the past the company's CapEx spending has closely tracked its data center construction projects, each of which requires between $200 million and $600 million in investment.