Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (it’s all about the patents)

Ian Hardy

August 15, 2011 7:49 am


Wow. This is huge news. Google has just announced that they have “entered into a definitive agreement” that they will acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. The deal still is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012 and is already approved by both boards, but still needs to be given the green light by their shareholders.

According to the press release it stated that this will allow “Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing”.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, 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. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

This purchase probably brings some patents too.
More soon…

Update: On the Google Mobile blog there is more insight into the acquisition. Google stated that Motorola will operate as a separate business and still licensee the Android OS, but the next paragraph speaks volumes of the real reasons for the purchase.

“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.”

All about patents these days.

Source: Business Wire & Google blog

  • Kenypowa

    Steve Jobs asked for a patent war, guess now he gets one. Or hopefully it would be the beginning of broad patent agreement.

    • Jeremy

      Patents aren’t worth 12 billion, good news for Apple and Microsoft! I hope they destroy google.

  • jonh_10

    You know my next phone is Motorola…Great news..

    • monsterduc1000

      My Moto Milestone is crapping out after only a year and a half. Never again Moto!

  • Bobby

    freaking awesome :D

  • Eric

    And hopefully they will release software updates in a more timely manner ….

  • Bort

    Hopefully this means the death of motorblur is imminent

  • xenec

    This might actually make Motorola become attractive again lol. With this, I’m assuming future Nexus phones will be made by Moto. Maybe they’ll finally do away with the God-awful Blur too.

    • Mathieu

      Not necessarily. Motorola Mobility will still act as an OEM but we can predict that the next Droids will more Nexus-like (w/o Motoblur!).

  • mda

    Buy BB while ur at it Google and show the BB CEO how to run a business.

    • barrist

      May as well, Schmidt still rocks a BB as his daily driver.

    • aka

      No, leave RIM alone, they should be still 100% Canadian.

  • MXM4K

    If Google was smart, they’d just plaster Google on all the phones made instead of Motorola. Hopefully they’ll also scrap the Blur UI.

    High end vanilla Android phones such as Nexus have historically done quite well. Add a guarantee of at least 1 to 3 system updates per device, and you’re in business.

    Google has officially tossed their hat in the hardware ring. Let the games begin! :D

  • jellmoo

    I can’t help but wonder how companies like HTC and Samsung are going to react to this… With Google in the hardware market, Android is certain to take a different slant with these companies.

    • Rio

      Actually I think, Motorola is still gonna operate as if it were not owned by Google.

      Google simply bought them so It would have a better patent folder.

  • MARS

    I just hope HTC don’t stop making Android phones!!!

  • mda

    Next Nexus will be by Motorola? I think so.

  • Bob

    Maybe the XT720 will finally get a legitimate update!

    • Alex Perrier

      Yeah, but in the USA, Cincinnati Bell released an unofficial upgrade that seems to work with WIND and Vidéotron.

  • hinds

    It’s all about the parents and that’s all to defend the android community from the likes of Microsoft and crapple!! LG, samsung and htc are valued partners.

  • peters

    I am getting sick and tired of Apple, thinking that they invented everything under the moon. MOTOROLA have tonnes more patents then Apple. They were the first out of the block with touch screen phones, not Apple. AS for tablets, Archos was in this business far before Apple stepped foot in the tablet market. I really wish that archos sues the crap out of Apple.
    Go Google! Your products are way more productive and user friendly.

    • northy

      Im wait for apple to say they own the patent on the configuration of the number pad,, Im sure in steve jobs pin head he believes he invented, 1 before 2 ect. sequence

  • KidCanada

    If google acquired RIM as well then that’s my ticket out to iPhone cuz I’m not a fan of the Android OS. Too cluttered..

  • Ken

    @peters so much truth here, well said!!! I still rock my old Archos every now and then. Apple may have perfected these items but they were not the first. I hope Google with the purchase of Motorola can now be in a better position to fight the hardware and software fight against apple.

  • David Dee

    Thanks mobilesyrup for the timely reporting of this very important piece of news! Google’s largest transaction so far, for a patent portfolio. The rationale makes sense given the recent Nortel auction, although prices are high. I only wish I had a few decent patents in hand :).

  • WirelessBoy

    I wonder if this move will force Apple to possibly buy RIM or even Microsoft to buy RIM. This should be interesting to see what the next big move is.

  • Rexuslexus

    Let’s see how quickly this news item gets picked up..

  • TeknoBug

    Here’s hoping that will make Motorola stop sucking with their evil lack of software updates.

    • Alex Perrier

      Can i get an amen?

  • MER1978

    RIM made it so the playbook could run Android apps… Android is the obvious platform for RIM as just hardware maker?

    • aka

      No, QNX is the obvious platform for RIM. They just run an emulator to open source Android software with help from their app devs. RIM will stick with QNX as it has a lot of potential, hopefully they won’t screw it up with product delays in 2012.

  • Stuntman

    I hope this will force Apple and others to just concentrate on making advancements in products instead of stifling other manufacturers’ products.

  • crunch204

    RIM will never sell

  • Pierce

    Maybe now I’ll get gingerbread on my atrix…

  • BBC

    Can you imagine Moto with pure Android? It’s gonna be awesome!