Strange, I could swear you acquire patents upon buyout.
In fact, I was just playing the scientific tutorial, had a very positive revenue stream, bought out the second to last company, and all of a sudden found myself in a massive water deficit, which, in time with a (random, as there were no hacker arrays out) water shortage led me to bleed $2000 per SECOND. I quickly stopped auto-supplying all of my farms, the primary water consumer up to that point, to no avail.
Turns out I'd just aquired the water-powered patent, and all of my blimps were now sucking down my economy's lifeblood for fuel (whereas I had a nice fuel surplus that they had been using just prior to the acquisition).
Perhaps a recent patch introduced this mechanic?