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Google announced today that it would
acquire mobile phone handset firm Motorola Mobility for about $12.5bn in cash.
It is Google's biggest takeover deal so far.
The deal gives Google, the developer of the Android mobile operating system,
which it has popularised by licensing it free of charge to mobile phone makers,
a hardware operation, that will enable it to challenge rivals such as Apple.
It also gives Google access to a large amount of patents that it will be able to
use to defend itself amid an increasing fierce war over intellectual property
among technology companies.
As of June 30, 2011, Google had cash, cash
equivalents, and marketable securities valued at $39.1bn.
Larry Page, Google CEO, said
that since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically
increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for
users. 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
Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications
technology and products but has failed to establish a significant presence in
the mobile market.
Larry Page added: "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. Many hardware partners
have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work
with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.
explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together
in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The US 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.
The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but
will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation,
greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great
experiences will create huge value for shareholders."