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Behind Snap’s Marriage to Google and the Cloud

Snap is the biggest consumer internet company to be built from scratch on top of cloud computing infrastructure it doesn’t own. That makes it an important symbol for the public cloud industry led by Amazon, Microsoft and Google, all of whom would like future Snaps to grow up on their clouds.

Last week Snap disclosed in its IPO filing that relying on Google’s infrastructure services last year cost almost as much as the amount of revenue the company generated in the same period. What it didn’t reveal was that Google is giving Snap deep discounting and other perks, some details of which The Information has learned. So, while Snap may be held up by the cloud industry as evidence of what’s possible in the new era, the sweetheart deal is far from typical.