Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) claims it will "supercharge" the Android ecosystem and boost mobile competition by acquiring Motorola Mobility LLC for US$12.5 billion. (See Google Acquires Moto Mobility for $12.5B.)

Google, in a surprise deal announced Monday morning, said it will run Moto Mobility as a separate business and that the unit will remain a licensee of Android. Google also pledged that the Android OS "will remain open."

"We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem," Andy Rubin, SVP of Mobile at Google, said in a statement. "However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community."

Under the terms of the deal, Google will pay $40 per share in cash, a 63 percent premium over the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, Aug. 12. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal. Google and Motorola Mobility expect to close the deal by the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

Why this matters
The purchase ties Google to one of Android's staunchest supporters at a time when both are facing off against the strength of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and its iOS platform for hot-selling smartphones and tablets. It also gives the Android maker access to Moto's patent portfolio, which it could potentially share with other Android licensees.

The deal also gets Google into the business of selling set-tops and video security, which complements what it acquired from Widevine Technologies Inc. in late 2010. A move into the set-top box could give Android a straighter path to the video service provider market. (See Google Acquiring Widevine.)

For more
Read more recent news from the Google and Moto Mobility camps:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

quicktime 12/5/2012 | 4:56:15 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Will other Android Smart Phone Vendors start switching OS?

SabrinaChow 12/5/2012 | 4:56:14 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

This is a very interesting move on the part of Google.  I suspect the acquisition is in response to the upcoming Apple HD Televisions hooked to the looming iCloud.  The chess match continues between the software giants.


Considering Comcast is a big Moto shop, I wonder what those guys think about the deal? 


On the other hand, Time Warner Cable is mostly a Cisco powered headend however they have a large population of Samsung Tru-2way boxes.  Given the java DNA in OCAP and Android, Google could make an impact here too...



quicktime 12/5/2012 | 4:56:14 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Moto is dying slowly anyway. Their shareholder are smart to sell!



DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:56:13 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

I doubt it. I think Android needs a standard-bearer and Google might just be stepping up and taking the job. What does seem odd is that Google is suddenly not just a company that puts ads on things (or next to things). They'll have to update their 10 thngs we know to be true malarky.


jepovic 12/5/2012 | 4:56:11 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Hubris was the first word that came to my mind. Google seem to think they are invincible and can succeed with anything, including mobile phones. I guess they want to compete with Apple head-on. I think they will be outcompeted by the asians quite quickly. They should've done this move 3 years ago, now smartphones are already becoming a commodity. Apple have a massive brand advantage vs Moto.

sam masud 12/5/2012 | 4:56:10 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Yes, hubris was the first word that also came to my mind--right after the first cup of coffee. And the second word was CONSOLIDATION...

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:56:09 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

I'm also curious to find out what some of the MSOs think about this.  Lots of speculation about whether Goog-Mot would try to get everyone to shift everything to Android. One cable industry source thinks Google will try to milk Moto's legacy cable businesss and rebuild around Google TV. But this person also wonders if Google can get out of the way of its own ego and do a good job executing. JB


joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:56:08 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

That tends to depend if the "independent" MMI will look at making cuts if Google is mainly about the patents.

Garci 12/5/2012 | 4:56:03 PM
re: Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B

Im curious on what you guys thing will happen with Moto's CMTS business. Will google pump it up with cash and try to get a competitive CCAP solution? just wondering...

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