Google spent $680 million on its data center infrastructure in the third quarter of 2011, a decline from recent quarters. The slight decrease in infrastructure investment is likely tied to the completion of two of the company's data center projects. Google has just completed the first phase of its data center in Pryor, Oklahoma and also brought online its new facility in Hamina, Finland.
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.
While Google's CapEx spending declined slightly in the third quarter, it will likely trend higher again in the near future. In recent weeks the company has announced four new data center projects, including three new facilities in three markets in Asia (Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong) and a new data center in Dublin.