Making its largest purchase ever, Google today announced its purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
Paying $40 a share, Google now owns 63% of the handset manufacturer, a move unanimously approved by the boards of both companies.
In the deal, Google stands to acquire over 17,000 smartphone patents related to spectrum and competitive technologies. Google, which operates the open-source Android smartphone platform, expects to use this enormous acquisition to build a stronger, more efficient Android for Motorola’s exact specifications. This would present a stronger challenge to a BlackBerry and iPhone-dominated smartphone market, as these two makers currently own far more patents than Android.
“Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” stated Larry Page, the search engine giant’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.”
In a conference call Monday morning, Google CFO Patrick Pichette confirmed that Motorola would remain a separate business from Google, filing its own reports and operating under its own management. The inventor of the flip cell phone in the 1990’s, Motorola Mobility spun off from Motorola Inc. earlier this year, and has struggled in the handset device market against Asian competitors.
CEOs from Motorola’s Android-based competitors welcomed the move. J.K. Shim of Samsung applauded Google’s “deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”