Google announced today that they will acquire Motorola Mobility for a whopping $12.5 billion dollars, a strategic move that has huge benefits for the search engine giant and their Android mobile operating system. The announcement comes as a surprise to many mobile enthusiasts who never thought Google would make a serious move into the hardware side of the blossoming smartphone market. Motorola has already showed much commitment to Android in the past few years and Google says this deal was a natural fit for both parties and unanimously approved by the board of directors in both companies.
Google CEO Larry Paige 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.”
So it seems Google doesn’t want to come in and rock the boat at Motorola by replacing employees and changing the infrastructure. Instead, they will build on top of the relationship they already have and focus solely on an amazing Android experience. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate company.
What about Android as an open platform for other manufacturers?
Google states that Android will remain open and things will not change for other manufacturers like HTC and Samsung. You can bet they are not happy about this deal. Google wants everyone to think of this deal as Motorola being a licencee of Android. The press release says,
“This 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. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.”
A huge part of this deal was made because of the patent war going on in the mobile industry. This move allows Google to own crucial patents that Motorola has created over the past 80 years. According to Google:
We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. 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.
Read more of Google’s take on the mobile patent war here. Nilay Patel from This Is My Next breaks things down for us in Google and Motorola: what are all those patents for? A very good read if you’re interested in what’s going on here.
Stay tuned to Mobile Fanatics today! We’ll have more on the story as it unfolds. I have some personal thoughts on this that I’ll cover in another article. Sound off with your comments below!
Read the full press release here.