Google Closes Motorola Mobility Deal

In August of 2011, Google made an acquisition bid for Motorola Mobility valued at $12.5 billion.

Now eight months later, after shareholder and regulatory approvals, that acquisition bid is a done deal. Google CEO, Larry Page formally announced that his company closed the Motorola deal on Tuesday morning, in the biggest acquisition ever completed by Google.

"Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone," Page blogged. "We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google."

As part of the deal close, the former CEO of Motorola Mobility, Sanjay Jha is leaving the company. In his place, Google is dropping in Dennis Woodside, who has been a long-time Google employee and trusted confidant of Page.

With the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google now owns its own handset vendor, which could potentially give it an advantage with the Android operating system. Page pledged back in August that Google is committed to keeping Android open and that Motorola would be run as a separate business. Samsung, HTC, LG, Dell and Cisco are among the many hardware vendors that have devices that use Android.

The deal also gives Google strong positioning in the mobile patent landscape which has been a challenge for Android in recent years. Multiple handset vendors including Samsung and HTC have struck patent licensing deals with Microsoft over alleged Android patent infringement.

During Google's third quarter fiscal 2011 earnings call, Page specifically took aim at Microsoft for attacking Android handset vendor with patent claims. In acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google is also getting approximately 16,000 patents which it will be able to use to defend against patent claims from Microsoft and others.

"We're serious about protecting the Android ecosystem, making sure that it continues to be incredibly successful," Page said at the time.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


Google, Motorola