Not a bright outlook for Motorola these days, with Google competing for handsets and the following
The move comes amid lower-than-expected bids for the company's home and networks mobility division, which had 2008 sales of $10.1 billion. Motorola had hoped the division would fetch a price of $4 billion to $5 billion, said people briefed on the auction. But so far bids have fallen in the range of $3 billion to $4 billion, these people said.
Sales trends were also a factor in the move. The unit makes set-top boxes for cable TV, as well as mobile-phone networking gear.
The set-top box business has a rich history. Originally a stand-alone company called General Instrument, it was run in the early 1990s by Donald Rumsfeld, later defense secretary under President George W. Bush. In 1991, private-equity firm Forstmann Little & Co. acquired the company and eventually brought in as chief executive Ed Breen, now CEO of Tyco International Ltd. Forstmann Little took General Instruments public in 1997, and Motorola acquired it for $17 billion in 1999.