Okay once again I’m breaking my own one-week time-off from OSNews due to, you know, taking a break and being too busy with other things, but this one is big – very big. Also, only the second time in OSNews history we’ve used the ‘breaking’-tag. Google has just announced it is going to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (more here). While providing Google with a dedicated mobile phone business, it also gives Google ownership of one of the most valuable mobile technology patent portfolios in existence. Update: Responses from the Android ecosystem are positive. HTC: “We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.” Sony Ericsson & LG: “We welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
“Google and Motorola Mobility 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 press release reads, “The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.”
Motorola Mobility will be run as a separate business, and Google claims it will have no effect on the Android ecosystem with regards to other hardware partners, but of course, only time will tell how that’s going to pan out. Other than Google buying a competent hardware partner, it also buys one of the most valuable patent portfolios in the mobile industry, causing a massive shift in power in the current let’s-sue-because-we-can’t-compete landscape of the mobile industry.
“Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” said Larry Page, Google’s CEO, “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.”
“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world,” said Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, “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.”
This is big. Very big. Now I understand why Google didn’t seem to take the Nortel bidding process seriously – they were already working on this much more substantial deal. This effectively means that while Microsoft and Apple thought they had bought a powerful anti-competitive patent club to hit Google with, they have now spent $4.5 billion on a patent portfolio about 1/4th the size of Motorola’s.
It’s also proof that the ridiculous story about Motorola seemingly hinting at suing other Android hardware makers was utter bogus, something anybody with more than two brain cells to rub together would already find out by actually, you know, reading Motorola’s words.