A very big ($12.5B cash) move for Larry Page. I assume this is mostly about intellectual property, since Motorola Mobility is an Android device laggard, relative to Samsung, HTC, and other vendors. I’m guessing we also won’t see Google/Motorola Windows Phone devices “real soon now…” In other words, I think Motorola Mobility just went the Nortel route, but without the messy bankruptcy phase, and that Motorola Mobility is about to exit the smartphone and tablet businesses; the opportunity costs to Google, otherwise, would be ~infinity. Google TV, however, probably just got a lot more interesting, considering Motorola’s set-top device business (based on Motorola’s $17B acquisition of General Instrument more than a decade ago).
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.
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.
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.