In a move that both stuns and also doesn’t quite surprise many people, Google has announced that they are buying Motorola for $12.5 billion. Motorola is one of the top licensee’s for Android, and out of the main companies that sell Android devices Motorola has the largest patent portfolio. Some of the high-tech crowd felt that the only way for Android to fend the never-ending onslaught of patent suits would be to simply buy a company with a large patent portfolio, but I doubt many would have guessed that Motorola was that company. We have already discussed Motorola’s portfolio, and we’ve even accused the company of using those patents to fine other Android manufacturers. This simply means that those accusations don’t have much truth anymore, and we can breath a little easier.
What does this mean for the other top Android manufacturers though? In the press release and during their conference call, both Google and Motorola wanted to stress that the companies would remain separate entities. Android will still be open-sourced, and they will still be looking at all manufacturers when deciding on who will build the next Nexus phone. Will Motorola get some extra love from Google because of this deal? At the time both companies are trying to say no, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Once again, this buyout can be summed up to one thing: Patents. Google didn’t have enough, Motorola has quite a bit. With 17,000 patents currently in Motorola’s possession, and another 7,500 being reviewed, Motorola can finally be what Android needed most. Protection. We’ve got the full press release below for more info, and expect us to release more information as it comes out.
[infos title="Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility"]
|Combination will Supercharge Android, Enhance Competition, and Offer Wonderful User Experiences|
|MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. & LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Aug. 15, 2011 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”
Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”
Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012