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Google acquires Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn; price tag rises post-sale
After going back and forth to regulators around the world, the Chinese government finally accepted the deal that would see Google buy smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in order to acquire more than 17,000 patents. Google needed the patents -- above all else -- to help fend off litigation by Apple and others, who continue to sue Android-powered smartphone makers, such as Samsung, while avoiding suing Google flat-out.
Because the now Google-owned division was struggling financially, Google had no option but to restructure the entire business. All in all, the cost of the sale was bumped by a further $340 million -- pushing the overall price tag close to $13 billion.
For now, we still have no idea if the sale was worth the full almost $13 billion, but the courts will soon decide. In the Microsoft v. Motorola (Google) legal spat, a court will decide how much Microsoft should pay Google in royalties for patents that it owns.
Ultimately, this trial will determine how much the Motorola patents are actually worth, meaning Google has far less leverage with its other patent partners that could lead to the search giant generating far less in deals with other smartphone makers.
"Don't use Huawei, ZTE," says U.S. House committee
That was the simple message by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee after the two Chinese telecommunications equipment makers were not proven of any wrongdoing, but enough suspicion fell on the firms to err U.S. businesses on the side of caution. The firm even said -- albeit in a self-commissioned report -- that it was not engaging in espionage in any country it operates in, and isn't under the thumb of the Chinese ruling party.
Despite the problems stateside, British Prime Minister David Cameron still welcomed Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei into Downing Street after Huawei pledged to invest $2 billion into the U.K. economy. Some weeks later, a U.K. parliamentary committee said it would launch its own probe into the Chinese technology giant's relationship with the U.K.'s largest telecoms provider, British Telecom (BT).
Only months after the U.S. House gave its verdict, a Huawei-shaped hole appeared in the U.S. telecoms market, and Helsinki, Finland-based Nokia Siemens Network -- with its own money troubles -- was ready to fill that gap as a safe bet for U.S. companies.
Hurricane Sandy devastates East Coast; wreaks havoc on infrastructure
The worst storm to hit the East Coast in years, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey the hardest. Infrastructure was hit badly and many low-lying data centers were damaged by the flooding. Web sites suffered massive outages and cell networks struggled to continue transmitting. Power outages hit many for weeks. For three long days, Manhattan was practically in the Dark Ages.
It took the cell networks -- including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- more than a week to get cell service up and running again. The storm caused 25 percent of the country's cell masts to collapse or stop working in the affected states. Ultimately quarterly earning reports were dinged.
That said, some glimmer of hope arrived when AT&T and T-Mobile joined forces to alleviate some of the pressures on consumers and businesses by allowing their subscribers to share each others' network while cutting the roaming costs.