Google (GOOG) invested $221 million on its data centers in the fourth quarter of 2009, a slight uptick from the $186 million it spent in the third quarter. But Google's infrastructure costs remained well below the levels seen during the company's expansion years in 2006-2007. The company has not announced any new data center builds in the U.S. since June 2007, and confirmed just one international project in 2009 in Hamina, Finland. Here's a look at the recent trend in Google's capital expenditures:
The capex "breather" has been enabled by the company's building boom in 2007-08, during which it announced major data center construction projects in Lenoir, North Carolina; Goose Creek, South Carolina; Pryor, Oklahoma and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
After the economic meltdown gripped Wall Street last fall, Google throttled back spending even further, opting to delay construction of its data center in Pryor.