We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Google buys Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

Google on Tuesday announced that it would acquire Motorola Mobility for a cool $12.5 billion in cash. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the acquisition should finally afford Google the sort of mobile-focused patent portfolio the search giant has longed for. According to Google, Motorola Mobility will continue to operate as a separate business.

Earlier this year, Google missed out on acquiring the Nortel patents to a consortium involving Apple, Microsoft, RIM, and other large companies. Earlier in August, Google complained on its blog about companies bidding on Nortel’s patents as a means of competing with Android (despite the fact that Google, too, bid billions for the patent portfolio).

Apple of late has sought to attack Android in court, though notably not yet by engaging Google in legal action directly; rather, Apple has filed suit and sought injunctions against various manufacturers of Android devices—including Motorola Mobility. Presumably, Monday’s acquisition would give Google a direct stake in the ongoing legal process.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Google CEO Larry Page declares that “[t]his acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open.” He adds: “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

Of course, it’s also true that this acquisition gets Google plenty of hardware manufacturing experience overnight. Motorola offered the first flip-phone, innovative phones like the RAZR, and led much of the pre-smartphone digital era. Though its competitiveness has lagged considerably since, the company still provides Google with tremendous institutional knowledge of the entire phone manufacturing process. Previously, Google worked closely with Samsung to deliver the Google-branded Nexus One, but until now the company has had little to no hardware expertise of its own; purchasing Motorola gives Mountain View a foothold into building its own handsets.

The $12.5 billion price tag offered a 63 percent premium on Motorola Mobility’s stock price at the close of trading last Friday; in the most recent quarter, the company posted losses of $56 million.

IDG UK Sites

How to use an Apple Watch: Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch

IDG UK Sites

Why Scottish Tablet is better than the iPad mini

IDG UK Sites

VFX Breakdowns: 10 behind-the-scenes looks at how incredible effects were created for Hollywood...

IDG UK Sites

Apple MacBook 1.1 GHz review (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015): The future of Apple laptops