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16 August 2011

Google to buy Motorola’s mobile business for £7.7 billion

Rachel Hawkes, account director, Elemental By Rachel Hawkes

Google acquires Motorola to grow AndroidGoogle has announced its biggest acquisition yet, the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $40 USD per share in cash, $12.5 billion in total.

Motorola, which has been a partner of Google’s mobile arm Android for some time, will continue to operate as a separate business, and be a licensee of Android for its devices.  The acquisition, which is thought to primarily be driven by patents held by Motorola Mobility, will enable Google to boost the Android platform and allow it to compete more fiercely in the smartphone arena.

Google’s chief executive officer Larry Page says, “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 our consumers, partners and developers.  I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Since its launch in 2007, the Android operating system has 150 million devices enabled from 39 different handset manufacturers - relationships Google will be keen to maintain by keeping its operating system open.  Motorola was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance in 2007 alongside Google, T-Mobile, HTC and Qualcomm.  In 2008, Motorola committed to using Android as the only operating system on its smart phone devices.

Sanjay Jha, chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility comments, “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solution across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

The acquisition will certainly see Google take a stronger position against its biggest mobile competitors, Apple and Microsoft.  Earlier this month, Google’s senior vice president and chief legal advisor David Drummond said that Android’s success had created, “a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”

Larry Page, posting on the Google blog comments, “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."

On the same day, Motorola announced the launch of its new Motorola DEFY+ handset, powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

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