Folks, we can’t make this stuff up. Google just purchased Motorola. They’ve decided to blow $12.5 billion on them. Here are some highlights from a post on The Official Google Blog penned by no other than Larry Page, the CEO of Google, himself:
Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.
Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.
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.
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.
Now as for the official press release on Google’s investor relations site, the only two important sentences are: “Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.”
There’s a call scheduled to take place in a little over 30 minutes. We’ll update this post with additional details if any should surface. The following questions are floating around our minds: How will competitors (LG, Sony Ericsson, HTC, and most importantly Samsung) feel about this deal? Will Google please, pretty please, kill MotoBLUR? Will Google fight with the operator partners Motorola currently has about which applications should come preinstalled on Android smartphones? How many wireless patents does Motorola have? Will Google license Motorola’s patents for either low cost or free to continue Android’s success? What will happen to the Motorola brand? When will we see the first Motorola-Google products?
What questions would you like to see answered? Leave a comment below.
Update: Some quotes from executives buried on Google’s press site, they oddly sound all the same:
“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.” — J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division
“We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.” — Peter Chou, CEO, HTC
“I welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” — Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson
“We welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” — Jong-Seok Park, President & CEO, LG
Update: This quote, from Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola, comes from their Q2 2011 financial results conference call:
“I also want to comment briefly on the topic of intellectual property. As most of you know, we own one of the strongest and most respected patent portfolios in the industry. We have over 17,000 patents granted and over 7,000 patents pending with particular strength in 2G and 3G essential, non-essential patents important to the delivery of competitive products in the marketplace, video particularly compression, decompression and security technologies and finally, a leading position in 4G LTE essential.
With new entrants to the mobile space resulting from the convergence of mobility, media, computing and the internet, our patent portfolio is increasingly important. We regularly review the company’s strategies opportunities and assets including IP with the goal of creating and enhancing value.”
Update: Call done. To be frank, we don’t think Google wanted Motorola for anything other than their incredible patent portfolio. Whereas Nortel has/had 6,000 patents, and Nokia has 10,000, Motorola has 17,000 in hand and 7,000 pending. This $12.5 billion deal was basically Google paying to prevent their partners from being sued. Motorola is going to stay Motorola, Google just gets to raid their patent cookie jar.