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Google To Acquire Motorola Mobility For $12.5 Bill

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the didn't-see-that-coming dept.

Android 578

zacharye writes "Google and Motorola Mobility have announced an agreement whereby Google will acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. The acquisition price equates to $40 per share of Motorola stock, or a premium of 63% over Friday's closing price. The move is considered to be an effort that will better-align Google to compete with Apple's iPhone, which currently owns two-thirds of profits among the world's top-8 smartphone vendors..." That's one way to stop royalty payments.

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578 comments

is it just me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093056)

Or did shit just get real? :-)

Re:is it just me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093100)

Or did shit just get real? :-)

Yes its just you. This cant help against Oracle, Microsoft or Apple. All these great hardware patents from Motorola can not protect them from these software IP suits. Google does not seem to have a grasp on their Android IP issues.

Re:is it just me (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093236)

Stop with the Oracle FUD. The Dalvik engine does not run java, and cross-compiling has always been legal. End of story.

Re:is it just me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093352)

Stop with the Oracle FUD. The Dalvik engine does not run java, and cross-compiling has always been legal. End of story.

Oracle FUD?
Keeping your head in the sand is not going to help GOOG with it's copyright infringement claim from Oracle. By GOOGs own admission, they infringed and want to settle. Oracle wont let them off without a big payday. How will this purchase help them?

Re:is it just me (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093246)

Oh yes it can. If the terms for Google's new IP are up for renewal or renegotiation, you can expect cross-licensing deals and all sorts of things protecting Android phones and devices.

What this doesn't protect against is trolls like Mark Small, Nathan Myhrovld and all those. "Defensive" patents are a useless strategy against trolls since they have nothing to gain by cross-licensing any tech.

You know, if the incentive for copyrights and patents are to encourage creativity, then it certainly wouldn't hurt anything if the creators were not allowed to sell their intellectual property.

Re:is it just me (5, Funny)

nharmon (97591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093256)

I dunno, did you just multiply the wave function by its complex conjugate?

Re:is it just me (2, Informative)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093334)

He's making a Slashdot comment, not a synthesizer

Didn't see this one coming (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093060)

I read this on the BBC and I have to admit, I didn't see this one coming!

At least we know now why Google didn't seem too bothered about winning the Nortel patents. This gives it a serious cell phone patents battle chest, and a manufacturer of decent tablets and handsets to boot.

The question is, if it's going to be Google owned, will this mean Motorola devices will be opened up as up until now they seemed to be the most locked down Android devices. Judging by the openness of the Nexus One etc. I'd imagine and hope this will be the case!

Re:Didn't see this one coming (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093204)

The question is, if it's going to be Google owned, will this mean Motorola devices will be opened up as up until now they seemed to be the most locked down Android devices. Judging by the openness of the Nexus One etc. I'd imagine and hope this will be the case!

That will be interesting: I suspect that it will tell us whether the locked bootloader nonsense is actually a carrier demand(and, if so, a carrier demand that they want to stick to, or one that they'll bend on with a touch of pressure) or whether it was a 'hardware companies would prefer that software upgrades be accomplished by hardware replacement' problem...

Obviously Google doesn't want to lose money on their new hardware division; but it seems pretty unlike them(and poor strategy in the face of Apple's relentless hardware/software integration) to play nickel-and-dime software lock upgrade drive games to eke out a few extra handset sales at the expense of customer satisfaction and overall success of Android and the various web services that Google actually makes their money on.

On the other hand, if handset locking is some sort of carrier fetish(that they are only willing to make limited exceptions to, for the occasional flagship device), we might not see much change. Google's attempts to crack the carriers through direct sales have been underwhelming in their success so far, and Apple's sales number suggest that Joe Public isn't clamoring for an unlocked bootloader... At least Google is unlikely to cruft up stock Android too heavily.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093330)

Google isn't interested in making money off Android, or Android phones. Early phone retirements and forced phone upgrades do not fit into Google's business strategy. They are interested in getting people on the internet on their phones so they can be advertised at.

This is why Android is free and open. This is why Motorola phones will get updates - to keep people happy with and using their phones.

But let's not forget, it was never realistic for the original iPhone to run current versions of iOS. The same is true of Android phones. They will get old, and there will be a time when they should be retired by users and manufacturers who fit the OS to old hardware. The only difference here is that Google isn't interested in early retirements of older phones, if it can reasonably be updated, it will be, because that keeps people surfing securely on their phones, and keeps Google making money.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093464)

Motorola phones will get updates? Since when?

Re:Didn't see this one coming (3, Informative)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093388)

At least Google is unlikely to cruft up stock Android too heavily.

True, but looking at my new Droid 3 from Motorola - Motorola didn't cruft it up much. They put Blur and Motoprint on it. Verizon crufted the hell out of it. Enough to make me get my rant on here about it: http://gildude.blogspot.com/2011/08/call-to-action-for-verizon-and-motorola.html [blogspot.com] . Of course, if we just get rid of Blur and maybe the locked bootloader that will be enough of a win. But it would be great to get back to Google Experience Devices that don't have all the carrier garbage on them to begin with.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093406)

I am okay with carrier demands if they really are subsidising a product as long as it's possible to by the same product unsubsidised and unlocked.

Hopefully Googorola* will try to open things up -- *we* need this as at present phone OS's aren't being updated by the manufacturers or the carriers quickly enough, and I'd imagine Google must be a bit concerned about the security implications of this?

* Googorola | Motoogle | Motogoog | Gotoogla

Re:Didn't see this one coming (0, Troll)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093494)

I bet other Android manufacturers are even more worried, now that Google owns their own hardware too. Suddenly all the Android manufacturers are using a competitors product and then trying to fight against them too. This is also why Nokia's stock price is rising up. It's bad times for those other Android vendors, and I think they're already looking at something else than Android.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (5, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093574)

I keep seeing people claim that locked bootloaders are a carrier demand... When this is clearly NOT the case.

Across ALL carriers, at least in the United States:
None of the Samsung Galaxy S line have locked bootloaders. (Tab 7s may be mildly locked?) The exception is the Galaxy Tab 10.1 line, which actually has randomly locked bootloaders for the non-carrier-distributed wifi version. (Don't know about the Verizon LTE variant). Even then, the bootloader locking is fairly minimal. The closest to "bootloader locking" I've seen in a Samsung Android phone is locking out flashing alternate bootloaders (Infuse 4G), but never a bootloader that locked out flashing any kernel or userland you wanted.
A small number of HTCs came out locked in early 2011 - HTC quickly reversed this decision after user outcry. The locked phones were distributed across multiple carriers.
Nearly all Motorola Android phones are locked down, regardless of carrier.

Motorola may claim it's the carrier - but if you look at the trends across carriers vs. trends across manufacturers, the trend CLEARLY follows the manufacturer and not the carrier.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093302)

Hopefully, they will unlock the Evo 4g and other older devices since Motorola seems to only be willing to unlock newer devices (and lock down the older devices right before releasing the newer devices.)

Re:Didn't see this one coming (2)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093376)

Supposedly the Photon 4G comes with an unlocked bootloader [popherald.com] , and I suppose it's well known that Motorola already promised that their future phones would be unlocked [engadget.com] . So, yeah. It'll be interesting to wait and see.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (1)

V for Vendetta (1204898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093482)

[...]and a manufacturer of decent tablets and handsets to boot.

I was wondering if the Motorola tablets are also produced by Motorola Mobility (the part Google acquired). I couldn't find anything in the press release other than Motorola Mobility being a "leading manufacturer for smartphones" ... which may or may not include the tablets.

Re:Didn't see this one coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093546)

It makes total sense. Motorola Mobility is losing cash, let has a buttload of patents for hardware,software, and all manner of processes. Google has cash and a need for a defensive and offensive capability in the patent wars.

Good luck to all the employees in Motorola Mobility! May you reap the benefits of your elevated stock price! Hopefully Google will fund your pension now...

I for one... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093070)

I for one think that Google should stick to search engines.
OTOH I approve of everything that might in any way slap Apple fanboys in the face.

Re:I for one... (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093116)

Given the only other decent Phone OS options get you iPwned, or Windows 7 (good ideas, easy development, complete lack of polish or apps), and, oh yeah, BlackBerry, I'm glad of it.

And for tablet, the options are one fewer for now.

I for one am GLAD google didn't stick to just search engines.

Re:I for one... (-1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093210)

I for one wonder how AAPL has avoided anti-trust litigation after extending an iPod monopoly into an iTMS monopoly into an iPhone monopoly and now working on an App store monopoly. Guess who IS being investigated for anti-trust... Google. Doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this picture??

Re:I for one... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093258)

Monopoly. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:I for one... (0)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093272)

Of course companies are free to expand how they like. However, they cannot make deals with manufacturers that force competitors out or unfairly leverage their position in another market to another. Apple hasn't done that, Google has, and Microsoft did so in the past.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093306)

Or you could learn what the word 'Monopoly' means and stop embarrassing yourself.

Re:I for one... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093332)

Christ, why can you slashtards not understand what a monopoly is. None of those are monopolies...

Re:I for one... (4, Insightful)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093520)

Um. Because monopoly doesn't even kind of mean what you seem to think it means.

Apple isn't even close to a monopoly in either of its two biggest market-share products, iPod (75% I think?) and ITMS (largest single music seller, though I don't know what % that is). There are countless viable substitutions people can buy if they want to. There is no coercive force in play making it so you need to or must buy their products (compare and contrast this to Microsoft during its monopolist days, where it was incredibly difficult to buy a new computer without paying Microsoft a fee, and with any competitors software pre-installed).

Yes, its a vertically-integrated product line, but that is NOT the same thing as having a monopoly. "iPhone" is not the whole of a market, it is but one of a number of viable competitors. The App Store may be the only way to get native apps onto the device, but that doesn't mean Apple has an "iPhone monopoly" they are abusing to extend one market into another. The iPhone is not a market: there is plenty of choice out there for those who want to buy something else.

Monopolies are not illegal: only monopolies obtained or maintained through certain prohibited practices (which for single firms and not cartels are rather few and hard to prove: but you can't argue Apple with its industry-envied margins is engaging in predatory pricing, which is one of the things single firms can get bitten for doing under antitrust law), and using the power of a monopoly in one market to extend into another.

In no way does Apple fit into any of these categories (the only place you could even argue it is the App Store and its relationship to the iphone, except as Android supporters will tell you, iPhone is anything but a monopoly. You have to have a monopoly before you can use a monopoly to bad ends: and "monopoly" does not translate into, "the only person to make this particular thing that others are aggressively competiting with", even if "this particular thing" is the what you're making your addons for).

Re:I for one... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093264)

I for one think that Google should stick to search engines.

It wouldn't too much surprise me if Google would actually prefer a world where they could do that. It's something that they are already good at, where getting patent-trolled seems to be less of a risk, and where their customer goodwill is probably at its highest.

Strategically, though, that tactic Has Problems in the medium to long term. If, increasingly "search" means something integrated into the shell of your lockdown iAppliance, or Microsoft OmniSuite 2012, Google becomes dependent on the goodwill of intermediaries, who have plenty of 'not as good; but they would tongue-wash our Ferrari for a chance to be our search provider' options to choose from.

Their various extensions into other markets, while probably driven partially by restless capital, also tend to be into areas that are calculated to enhance customer's abilities to continue to access core Google properties without involving intermediaries who have much to gain by either forcing Google out or forcing Google to pay for the privilege of remaining in.

Re:I for one... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093434)

Their various extensions into other markets, while probably driven partially by restless capital, also tend to be into areas that are calculated to enhance customer's abilities to continue to access core Google properties without involving intermediaries who have much to gain by either forcing Google out or forcing Google to pay for the privilege of remaining in.

I for one am looking forward to when Google buys up a 3g/4g nationwide/worldwide network and creates an actually competitive smartphone marketplace where $30 a month isnt the least you can pay for overhyped, underpowered service in an oppressive contract.

Re:I for one... (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093496)

Google is not a search company, Google is an advertizing company. The rise of payed apps and content (as opposed to webapps and free, ad-backed content) was what Google did not like at all. Chromium demonstrates best what Google wants you to use: A hardware window into the web, which then is stuffed full of Google ads.

Android was (and is) nothing but an isurance against the good old web turning into nothing but a delivery mechanism for data and content displayed by apps and payed directly for to Apple (or others).

This doesn't mean Android is a bad idea, but this is just a side effect. Everything Google does can be explained by creating more and maintaining old ways of beaming ads at you.

Haha, Nokia (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093354)

Here's looking at you going all the way down the drain.

Who says Google wasn't willing to make a deal? I think it was just the M$-centeredness of Stephen Elop that prevented a deal.

Good luck with WP7.

Re:I for one... (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093428)

I for one think that Google should stick to search engines.

They'd probably die.

Yes they are good at search.. but if that search is running on someone elses platform, and that platform is becoming more and more controlled (phones) .. they need to at least have their leg in the door.

That and at a certain size diversification is usually a good idea.

Re:I for one... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093516)

OTOH I approve of everything that might in any way slap Apple fanboys in the face.

There's nothign worse than an apple fanboy. Except an Apple hater. Yeah, those are worse by a wide margin. They will even claim Apple is the original sin !

Cretin.

Not a bad chioce (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093074)

Of the android phone makers, Motorola is one of the two best. I'm glad Google went for them instead of Samsung... *shudder*

Hopefully that means there will be Motorola android phones on Sprint.

Re:Not a bad chioce (4, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093152)

They may be great phone (hw) manufacturers, but in terms of software they are very, very incompetent, including wasting time on 'customization' that only bother the consumer and refusing to release updates (while Cyanogenmod runs circles around them)

I absolutely DON'T trust any of them to write a single line of code. Yes, I know how these companies operate.

Re:Not a bad chioce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093244)

There is a Motorola phone for sprint, just released. Motorola Photon 4G. Looks fantastic.

Re:Not a bad chioce (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093450)

Of the android phone makers, Motorola is one of the two best. I'm glad Google went for them instead of Samsung... *shudder*

Hopefully that means there will be Motorola android phones on Sprint.

Google went for Motorola (at least in part) because Samsung's phone business is some ten times bigger, and even the mighty GOOG isn't able to bite off that much at this stage of the game.

Re:Not a bad chioce (1)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093456)

There already are Motorola Android phones on Sprint. The Photon 4G, XPRT, Titanium, and i1 on Sprint proper. The Triumph on Virgin Mobile.

--
The revolution will be mocked [cafepress.com] from the sidelines.

This is brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093078)

$12B is cheaper then an ongoing battle over patents and maybe losing out to Windows Mobile. Also they have a better case in court and developers no longer have to worry about Droid users because there will probably be none in the foreseeable future.

This is Google using their power for GOOD, although it mostly benefits just them.

Google does NOT care about you. (0, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093240)

Before you start going crazy thinking about how great it'll be that Google owns Moto Mobility, remember that Google wants to snoop in on everything you do, everything you say, and everything on your phone so they can sell ads. They don't care about ecosystem, they don't care about fragmentation, they don't care about YOU. They want you to generate ads.

Android is nothing but a giant trojan horse. It is evil. It should be antithetical to everything Google claims to be("Don't be evil.").

Re:Google does NOT care about you. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093522)

`Long as it's automated, and the data is protected and inaccessible to other people, and not sold to other parties.. I'm actually ok with this. I know this puts me in the minority with the slashdot crowd, and I'm sure someone is gonna accuse me of atroturfing, and yes there are all the slipery slope articles and becoming accustom to surveillance is bad and all that, but I just don't care. My life isn't that interesting. If some algorithm wants to pour over all my lifes data to show me a guitar ad (cause I've been looking at guitar stuff recently) .. I can live with it.

Maybe they could offer some kind of monthly payment plan where they don't collect your data, but I suspect it would get so little attention the revenue wouldn't justify the cost of implementing it. Most non-geeks share my opinion of data privacy.

Or maybe google targeting post-PC devices? (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093080)

Droids are pretty good devices with keyboards... so maybe google is looking at Motorola for a proper Chromebook device to compete against something like the MacBook Air. (along with Xooms vs. iPads)

Re:Or maybe google targeting post-PC devices? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093392)

No, this is all about Android, not ChromeOS. Make no mistake, Google's press release specifically mentions Android and if Google wanted such a device, they'd build another high-end "reference" device like the Nexus ONE was.

Re:Or maybe google targeting post-PC devices? (1)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093564)

I still don't get the people who are touting the "post-PC" label. PCs exist because people still need them. Would you write a term paper on your phone? PCs are here to stay until we can find something better, and I don't think that tablets and phones are something better, not yet anyway.

Patent portfolio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093086)

Hopefully this will allow them to give Apple a good slap

Very good coup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093096)

Companies like Google don't know where to stash their money nowadays anyway. With stock prices as depressed as they are, no better moment than now...

Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (5, Informative)

Arch_Android (1989386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093102)

http://www.google.com/press/motorola/quotes/
Most seem happy enough.

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093188)

interesting how all the quotes say the same thing..."defending android and it's partners". You think Google told them what to say when asked?

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093232)

notice anyone missing?

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093316)

Ed from the mailroom... and Janice from Accounting. That is all that is missing.

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093402)

Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson are there and they're the biggest Android manufacturers. Erm....ZTE, maybe? Is it anyone important?

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093440)

Job's speech that basically said they can eat shit and die was too big for the page.

Re:Reactions from other Android Manufacturers (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093452)

Upon reading the news, I couldn't help but wonder if this was the Microsoft plan all along... (Picture Steve Ballmer as Palpatine). FUD up Android with patents until Google is forced to turn to the dark side and buy up a handset manufacturer for the patent portfolio. The other manufacturers are fucked over and go with Windows OS Phone 7.

I don't see how HTC, Samsung, etc could be happy about this. Android is no longer Open and now Motorola will be a version or two ahead of them.

Android ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093108)

What does this mean for Android ? Google is now a direct competitor of all manufacturers selling Android phones.
And google is the one who gets to seen all the customer information via their Android store.

Re:Android ? (2)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093206)

Only good things. Remember, it's not about Android. It's not about phones. It's about ads. Everything google does is just a way to serve up ads, and to serve up search which serves up ads. Google will make Android stronger. And if other manufacturers want to help, google will help them. Because it lets them sell ads.

patent shield (5, Informative)

tero (39203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093110)

From the Google press release:

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 âoeprotect competition and innovation in the open source software communityâ and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Googleâ(TM)s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

Motorola and Nokia are the two leading patent holders within mobile business, so this is potentially a very good opportunity for Google to use that portfolio as a litigation shield and helping to keep Android (litigation) free.

Motorola Android devices (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093112)

So are we going to get unlocked Motorola bootloaders now?

Royalty payments. (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093122)

That's one way to stop royalty payments.

That's also one way to keep OTHER PHONE MANUFACTURERS from extorting royalty payments.
If only that also worked against Microsoft...

Re:Royalty payments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093212)

Apple can almost buy controlling interest in Microsoft. They'd need $107B to pull that off.

Re:Royalty payments. (1, Interesting)

Goboxer (1821502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093412)

Microsoft's number of shares: 8.38 Billion 51% of MSFT: 4,273,800,000 Market Price per share: $25 Cost to buy 51% at Market Price: $181,845,000,000 (Roughly $182 Billion) Apple's Net Income for Q2 2011: $7 to $8 billion Conclusion: Apple would be better served doing a massive buy-back of their own stock. They would drive the value of their stock up (something people seem to covet). They wouldn't have to deal with a nasty and fruitless FCC investigation. And they wouldn't be purchasing a sinking ship (as many see MSFT).

Less about stopping the royalty payments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093124)

...and more about building Google's patent portfolio so as to prevent the same kind of suits being levelled against them as Apple is currently levelling against Samsung for its Android based tablets.

Fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093128)

So now I own a Google phone? Excuse my while I put my F3s on eBay...

Thinks are about to get interesting :) (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093138)

Lawsuits like apple's, per device patent indemnification like microsoft are gonna be more fun (at least for google)... and average joe developer.

Hardware vs Software (3, Interesting)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093154)

So now that Google has all of Motorola's patents on 2G,3G,4G, (the hardware side) and apple has all those patents on user interface (software side), are we going to be seeing an epic east Texas showdown that results in every new smartphone requiring TWO huge additional licensing fees getting passed on to the consumer?

Re:Hardware vs Software (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093320)

I can see the patent battles now:

Google: we have patent "using radio waves to provide mobile telephony".

Apple: we have patent "making something in a rectangular shape with 1 button and rounded edges"

I still think all the vague patents need to be scrapped, but that won't affect any of the new Google "real invention" patents they've just acquired.

Re:Hardware vs Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093422)

Google: we have patent "using radio waves to provide mobile telephony".

Already expired: U.S. Patent 3,906,166: Radio Telephone System (Dyna-Tac) - Martin Cooper et al. (Motorola), filed October 17, 1973, issued September 16, 1975

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093512)

...are we going to be seeing an epic east Texas showdown...?

Nah, probably Apple will introduce their own awkward communication "standards", and Google will implement their own awkward user-interface principles. Subsequently, the universe will split in two halves and everybody has to choose sides or be sucked into the vacuum thus formed in between.

Motorolas patents are belong to google (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093156)

Google is poisitioning itself to get more involved in the patent fights:

"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."

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/supercharging-android-google-to-acquire.html

Battle of the Apes (2)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093164)

Battle of the Apes, and Ballmer not invited?

Seriously, this will make some interesting monkey business.

It is of the same importance when Microsoft decided to jump on the hardware wagon too, through the Xbox. A lot of analysts were surprised but not overly surprised. Google, being a software only until now, doing the same as Microsoft seems natural.

Re:Battle of the Apes (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093278)

Don't worry - once Elop is finished with Nokia, it'll be worth next to nothing and Elop can recommend to the board that it be taken over completely by Microsoft, thus handing MS the other half of all mobile patents.

Re:Battle of the Apes (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093346)

Google already had some hardware too; the Nexus, chromebooks, their cheesy servers. But admittedly nothing quite on the scale of Motorola Mobility.

The articles are quite confusing though, sometimes saying Google bought Motorola, other times stating Motorola Mobility. As I understand it, this is indeed only half of Motorola. Though the Mobility half also includes many non-mobile and non-consumer products. Wonder what Google will do with those products which are of no obvious strategic importance to Google.

Does this include Netopia? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093178)

Are they buying just Motorola's cell phone division or does it also include Netopia (they make DSL/Cable modems).

Re:Does this include Netopia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093410)

I can see Netopia being sold off as it is not part of the core business.

Questions questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093182)

I have to admit that this was Google's best option going forward, and it was clear that Motorola was twisting their arm to do this when they were making threats to go patent trolling other Android makers. Now, there are some obvious questions we should be asking: will they take their patents and get rid of the rest, or will they actually compete with the other Android handset makers? Will they use the patents to defend just themselves, or will they also defend other Android players? Any chance they'll go on the offensive and counter-sue Microsoft?

What is the EU and DoJ going to think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093220)

I cant imagine the DOJ or EU are going to let this through without some scrutiny. The effect it could have on competition would be profound if Google abuses its position.

On another note Google is getting too big for its britches. Just to be able to buy Motorola at a drop of a dime is ridiculous.

Re:What is the EU and DoJ going to think (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093526)

Are you kidding? This administration is all about big corporatism and special interests. Whatever makes gobs of money for the re-election campaign..

And when you get on google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093242)

Let me guess--if they don't like your name on google+, your phone stops working?

Oh wait [itworld.com] .

Genius or Disaster (0)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093248)

As a Google shareholder, I'm cautiously optimistic about this deal. On the one hand, Google has shown little ability to handle this sort of business (really, any sort of business involving real customers). But on the other, if they manage it correctly (and keeping it a separately-run company is a good start), it could be a massive gain for both companies and Android in general. If they can successfully tie-in the software & hardware, as Apple does (even half as good as Apple does), they'll be very profitable. And, while the other Android manufacturers might be hesitant in the wake of this, Android still seems like their best bet (at least now they know Google is quite serious about it).

And long term, one can see all the cogs slowly turning, bringing the pieces together . . . Google's core + Google Voice + ultrahighspeed fiber tests + GMoto = some really serious competition to the telcoms.

Either way though, it's better than them just sitting on 30B in cash . . .

If Google were a poker player... (1)

riflemann (190895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093280)

They'd win the Poker World Series. This is a winning hand to show, after all of the recent moves and relatively quiet action regarding the patent battles. Dont buy into the consortium, play victim and complain about others destroying android, then buy Motorola (and their 17000 patents).

Bravo!

$12.5 Bill (0)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093288)

And here I was wondering what exactly a $12.5 bill looked like. Or if it was a custom bill printed just for this transaction, with someone from Google instead of a U.S. President.

Six sigma (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093300)

Now Google will be Six Sigmed by newly acquired Motorola execs and will fail hard.

4.5b vs 12.5b, not just patents?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37093312)

The Nortel patents were 4.5b, this purchase is 12.5b!

This is NOT just about patents.

Some of the comments above about Motorola being leading Android developer, Google maybe wanting to provide more open phones of their own, and so on; along with the patent portfolio defensive strategy MAY make sense.

Great Match (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093338)

Motorola made android popular again just when everyone thought it was a complete failure. Heck everyone throught motorola was a complete failure after android. This is a good match.

mroe royalties than sales (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093364)

you know what this means.... Google gets to collect a royalty payment for ever Windows phone sold which means that ... ah. $50 additional revenue for Google.. ok, err.. lets move on to the next comment please.

Microsoft (5, Interesting)

akirchhoff (95640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093432)

This will probably force Microsoft to buy Nokia outright. As much as they would like to just collect license fees, they need a vertically integrated platform.

Motorola Symbol (2)

JamesA (164074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37093556)

I wish Google would buy the Motorola Symbol division so we could see Android on their industry leading mobile computers (ie barcode scanners). The embedded Windows CE / Windows Mobile on those devices is garbage.

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