Google has announced that it has reached a deal with Motorola Mobility to acquire the company for $12.5 billion, or $40 a share.
In a statement, Google CEO Larry Page 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.
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.
The boards of both companies have approved the deal.
Page says that this will not only 'supercharge Android' but that it will 'enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.'
But there's another reason ... patents:
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.
Microsoft gets in close with Nokia, now Google buys Motorola. Another interesting tidbit is that Motorola owns a lot of mobile tech patents - about 17,000 in all. Google just acquired a massive patent portfolio (though this patent portfolio didn't protect Motorola from being attacked by Apple and Microsoft).
Pretty much all that Motorola Mobility makes nowadays is Android handsets, so I doubt that much will change. I guess there won't be any Windows Phone handsets coming from Motorola now.
I wonder what other Android OEMs are going to think of this deal. All we have right now is a small selection of quotes from some partners where everyone seems to 'welcome' the deal.
Things are getting interesting.