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EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the rocka-google-rola dept.

Businesses 187

angry tapir writes "European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility. The U.S. $12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, including Consumer Watchdog, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions." Later in the day the DOJ announced an end to its investigation, greenlighting the acquisition in the U.S. as well.

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187 comments

Let the lawsuits begin! (4, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027555)

And with Motorola Mobility it seems Google gets a nice little patent war chest. I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence to be honest.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027659)

Yes, because its rational for you to passionately love one company (an ad network) and hate another company (an electronics maker), when:

* you work for neither
* neither has attacked you, your family or your friends
* and likely neither even competes with you, your family or friends...

You corporation cheerleaders need a reality check. Why do people form such strong identities with brands, its seriously pathetic.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (5, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027711)

Yes, because its rational for you to passionately love one company (an ad network)

I stopped reading after "ad network" because someone who describes Google as such is either biased against Google or for Apple, which makes your comment no more rational than the first post.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (2)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027755)

In this case it's downright amusing. They are an electronics manufacturer now!

It's just bonch/OverlyCriticalGuy (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027803)

"I stopped reading after "ad network" because someone who describes Google as such is either biased against Google or for Apple, which makes your comment no more rational than the first post."

It's just the tired old anti-Google troll bonch. Too scared to post with his main trolling account and probably too tired of making new shill accounts that just get modded down into oblivion within minutes.

Bonch? He got modded up in other thread !! (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027947)

It's just the tired old anti-Google troll bonch. Too scared to post with his main trolling account and probably too tired of making new shill accounts that just get modded down into oblivion within minutes.

You may want to check out this thread ( http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/02/13/0059212/reddit-no-more-suggestive-content-featuring-minors [slashdot.org] ) where bonch railed his usual lunacy and got modded up

Re:Bonch? He got modded up in other thread !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028295)

Must've been upper-middle-class-suburban-housewives' night on Slashdot.

I hear they were handing out mod points for magical Mormon underwear.

Re:Bonch? He got modded up in other thread !! (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028837)

Haha you've achieved the "troll density" achievement.

Your scoring breakdown:

claiming housewives took over /. = -20 troll
claiming suburbanites are on /. = -5 unlikely
claiming upper-middle-class cares about /. = -5 unlikely
bonus for Romney tie-in = -20 troll

Your total: -50

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029747)

Yes, because its rational for you to passionately love one company (an ad network)

I stopped reading after "ad network" because someone who describes Google as such is either biased against Google or for Apple, which makes your comment no more rational than the first post.

What is their primary source of revenue? How do you think they subsidize Gmail, google earth, Google search, Google Translate and their other "Free" properties? Do you really think there are no strings attached?

Some of you have the gaul to call Apple device users blind fanboys and yet you would blindly cheerlead for a company that views you as their product? Look at their balance sheets and that will tell you what their primary business is.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027765)

Apple isn't "an electronics maker". They design electronics, buy a lot of Samsung components and have poor Chinese people work 18 hours a day to assemble them.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (3, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027911)

Apple isn't "an electronics maker". They design electronics, buy a lot of Samsung components and have poor Chinese people work 18 hours a day to assemble them.

Apple and every other company that outsourced it's production and assembly to places where they can get lots of cheap labour and can rely upon the local government to ignore corporate abuses and crack down hard with riot police, teargas, water-cannon and gestapoesque security services every the workers decide they have had enough and stage a protest. No matter how you turn it you are supporting worker abuse somewhere every time you go to the supermarket and buy something. Even if you only buy those "Fair trade" politically correct products, the cargo ship that brought those goods to your country was built by abused shipyard workers who work 16 hour per day 7 days a week to churn out ship hull components under totally miserable conditions and is crewed by Russian and Philippine sailors who don't even enjoy the minimum in safe and proper working conditions and it goes on from there.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028173)

And yet, if you refuse to buy because of that, you're supporting even worse life conditions than those abuses.

And more: Chinese factories are already automating because of rising labor costs, so even if you force wages to rise that might be counter-productive if you really want to help the workers, since they'll simply be replaced by machines.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029149)

and so, I should continue to support companies that pay subsistence wages ? and ensuring that they will always be subsistence wages helps them how, exactly ?

I'm not clear what your point is.

The fact is that these countries could easily enforce policies where the employees would get paid better and we would still be able to buy cheap crap. You forget that they get shit wages because Mitt Romney doesn't have enough houses, not because that's what they have to be paid to be competitive.

Why is it that the race to the bottom is always such a popular "free market" slogan ?

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029171)

True. We think about how awful it must be to live in a dorm and work long hours. Yet it's a desirable job and work environment there.

It's a bit like a shitty job many of my friends would do when we were teens. They'd work during their summers in fish canning facilities in Alaska. You're away from home, the pay sucks, the job is cold, smells, it's noisy and you live in a dorm. You take a day off every week but there really isn't much to do or much of anywhere to go so you play cards or watch a movie. There's a canteen there for stuff you need. But on the other hand, you make more than staying home and working at a McDonalds.

It's a matter of perspective. When the labor rates there get high enough (it's already happening) then the world economy moves manufacturing elsewhere.

The same thing happened with India (though not manufacturing specifically). Labor rates went up, so companies moved to other countries.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029179)

And yet, if you refuse to buy because of that, you're supporting even worse life conditions than those abuses.

And more: Chinese factories are already automating because of rising labor costs, so even if you force wages to rise that might be counter-productive if you really want to help the workers, since they'll simply be replaced by machines.

That sounds like rationalizing if I ever heard it. Let's face it, you can either take a stand or not.

There's no amount of talking or pragmatic compromise that will solve a basic problem of disrespecting human dignity in the workplace.

If you're genuinely okay with this behavior, then that's one thing. If you're not okay with it, don't reason away your ethics because you want an iPhone.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (5, Funny)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028047)

Apple isn't "an electronics maker". They design electronics, buy a lot of Samsung components and have poor Chinese people work 18 hours a day to assemble them.

Importers and purveyors of Chinese electronics seems like a good description to me.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (2, Interesting)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028081)

Hilarious that this was marked as flamebait. I honestly think that what you're describing is as bad, if not worse, than "fanboyism". Of course, this is Slashdot, where hate is the word of the day. For years, it was Microsoft. Everyone cheered at the various court decisions: the monopoly ruling, the EU requirements. They were just salivating over the day when Microsoft would be disassembled by the courts and destroyed by Linux's inevitable victory in the desktop space. (LMAO even typing that) None of it ever happened: today Microsoft is daily losing relevance not by some great savior of the open source world, but by entropy: their business model is failing.

Yesterday it was Microsoft. Today it's Apple. Tomorrow it'll be? Someone. Probably Google. (When someone's profit is based on your information, a mantra of "Don't be Evil" directly conflicts with corporate goals.)

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (5, Insightful)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028867)

"If you can persuade your customer to tattoo your name on their chest, they probably will not switch brands."

-- An Indiana University professor on Harley Davidson owners

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029741)

I don't know about loving Google but it makes sense to hate Apple for their bad corporate behavior, among other reasons.

Apple might be the ultimate loser (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027697)

With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia, Apple will be facing tough challenges, both in marketplace and in courtrooms around the world

Re:Apple might be the ultimate loser (5, Funny)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029775)

With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia...

Interesting analogy. Please allow me to extend it a little, if you will. "Google standing behind Motorola, owning it, and Microsoft standing behind Nokia with a garrot around its skinny corporate neck..."

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1, Flamebait)

jmeboi (1199389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027717)

Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet, every steaming pile of shit they serve up is pute gold to these people. I mean, look at the generations of iPhones, these people were literally willing to pay for the same piece of garbage several times over, each "generation" being only slightly more technologically advanced than the predecessor and all of them miles behind the HTCs and Samsungs - and yes, even Motorola's on the market. With a customer base like that Apple is indeed the goose that shits golden eggs and I don't see them getting sued out of existence I hate to tell you. My hope is that it will force them to become true innovators again and make products worth owning, but as long as they are spinning shit into gold I doubt that will happen either.

That's just a fad (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027809)

Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet

It's just a fad

Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple, once a new-kid-in-town with new fangle tricks appears

Re:That's just a fad (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027979)

Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple, once a new-kid-in-town with new fangle tricks appears

Where have you been since 1984? Apple users are not customers, they are a fan club.

Re:That's just a fad (3, Interesting)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028067)

Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet

It's just a fad

Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple, once a new-kid-in-town with new fangle tricks appears

I used to say the same thing. Now I'm starting to think they've secured a niche as a status symbol. Much like Gucci or Prada handbags, many people buy apple because they want other people to see them walking around with that apple product. Have you seen vehicles with a white apple bumper sticker? I think the mere existence of such a thing is proof of this.

Re:That's just a fad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028237)

people also drive around with "AAA" bumper stickers...means nothing

Re:That's just a fad (2)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028599)

Yet driving around with an "AA" bumper sticker means something. Wait, what were we talking about again?

Re:That's just a fad (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028221)

Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple

Assuming they don't really have specific uses for Apple products, but then again it's not expensive to have one lying around for compatibility just as many people have Windows machines (or VMs) for that. Apple do make great products and they are high quality but there's no denying they've lost their exclusivity, the iPhone 4 (pretty sure this is still true) is the single most common smartphone in the world and the 3GS is dirt cheap (i've got 2 in my drawer, one relegated to being my workout ipod) which does push them into commodity device territory, like owning a Nokia in the late 90s/early 00s. But hey, if they can maintain their 'cool' image, continue to build high quality products and keep pace with industry innovation then there's no reason to think they will fall from their lofty position.

Re:That's just a fad (4, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029765)

Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet

It's just a fad

Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple, once a new-kid-in-town with new fangle tricks appears

I've heard that mantra so many times before when the iMac came out, when the iPod came out, when the iPhone came out, when the iPod touch came out and when the iPad 1 came out. Are you seeing a pattern here? I keep on seeing people on slashdot predicting the demise of Apple year after year.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027811)

If you can't recognize that the iPhone is a good phone, you're just as bad as Apple "fanboys".

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (3, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028077)

If you can't recognize that the iPhone is a good phone, you're just as bad as Apple "fanboys".

iPhone is an OK phone, but the 4s is quite dated. Any company marketing a flagship cellular device with no 4G support at this stage in the game has missed the boat. That goes double for iphone since the data consumption on the thing is legendary.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028277)

4G (well, LTE which really is still a 3G technology that American marketing droids have decided to wrongly call 4G) isn't yet available in very many places at all, globally speaking. Even in the US it's only in the large cities, and remember that Apple sells far more iPhones outside the US than in it. Plus given that the iPhone 4S supports HSPA+, that allows speeds that are more than fast enough for a mobile device already, regardless of all this 3G/4G/infinityG OMG terminology. (Remembering also that LTE comes with a tradeoff: rather crap battery life compared to HSDPA/HSPA/HSPA+)

Once you see 4G rolling out to more than a handful of places I'm sure it will be in the iPhone. In fact it will probably be in the next iteration due for release in the next 6 months.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028483)

While I'm no Apple fanboy(Apple free and loving it), I agree here.
Up in the Northwest USA(washington/idaho), it's actually hard to get even 2.5g GSM service everywhere, and 3G is relegated to the cities mostly. I'm on T-Mobile, btw, which has roaming agreements with AT&T, so I get both networks... yet there's still areas I /cannot/ get signal with either.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028987)

4G (well, LTE which really is still a 3G technology that American marketing droids have decided to wrongly call 4G) isn't yet available in very many places at all, globally speaking. Even in the US it's only in the large cities, and remember that Apple sells far more iPhones outside the US than in it. Plus given that the iPhone 4S supports HSPA+, that allows speeds that are more than fast enough for a mobile device already, regardless of all this 3G/4G/infinityG OMG terminology. (Remembering also that LTE comes with a tradeoff: rather crap battery life compared to HSDPA/HSPA/HSPA+)

Once you see 4G rolling out to more than a handful of places I'm sure it will be in the iPhone. In fact it will probably be in the next iteration due for release in the next 6 months.

I guess I'm just spoiled. In the area I live in, almost every carrier has 4g service. Even second rate carriers like Metro (aka Cricket I think) have 4g around here. It may not be "true 4g" but it's much much faster than 3g. On Metro (my kids have this carrier) they get about 5Mbps on average and on Verizon it's closer to 40Mbps (for about twice the price). That's faster than my fiber connection to the house, btw. Either way, both smoke what I've seen for 3g speeds around here.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029285)

Well yeah, another factor is that not all 3G is created equal. Here in Australia, Telstra has HSPA+ networks that you can easily pull 20 Mbps+ off, real world speed. So the impetus for 4G is less than, say, you were stuck with a 3G network that only managed a few Mbps (which is quite common).

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029079)

Even in the US it's only in the large cities...

That's actually not true. I live in Appleton, WI (which I would classify as a small city), and Verizon rolled out LTE here about 3 months ago. It doesn't diminish the rest of your point, but LTE is more widespread in the US than one might expect.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029313)

Heh I'm very familiar with Appleton actually ... I spend several months a year in the Fox Cities. I suppose I should have qualified my post with "LTE is not available ~on GSM networks~ in many areas yet". The US CDMA carriers (i.e. Verizon, Sprint) are ahead of the game when it comes to LTE deployment. And I keep forgetting the iPhone comes in a CDMA variant now in the US (doh!)

However, I'm not American and thus when I'm in the States I'm roaming using my unlocked (GSM) phone (or using a local AT&T SIM). So I kinda forgot about those "other" non-GSM carriers, since they may as well not exist for me, and it's only in the US that a CDMA iPhone exists. Nonetheless I still think you'll see LTE in both variants of the iPhone next version.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (5, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028227)

The iPhone is a good phone, so are a few Android phones.

The fanbois show their true colours when they cannot accept any other phone or brand is as good as theirs.
They also do when they go on and on and on about how crap all the other phones are and how wonderful theirs is.

Reality, as always, is usually smack down the middle.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029637)

Having now used several android and ios devices, recently been toying with webos.. I have to say, HP dropped the ball on this one... if it weren't for lack of apps/support, would sobe my goto mobile OS... only thing I really miss on te touchpad over my android or ipad tablets is netflix support.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028695)

Until the phone can block text messages and calls from stalkers^w unauthorized people without jailbreaking, I'll stick to Android. Jailbreaking and iBlacklist is dicey at best because one restore, and back to square 1. iOS changes mean that I have to not just wait for a JB, but wait for iBlacklist to be updated. For the iPhone 4, a tethered is easy to do. The 4S, one is SOL.

Because the iPhone lacks in some functions like this (and no, assigning a "silent" ringtone is not an answer), I use an Android phone. Sure a hell of a lot cheaper than a lawyer and getting a restraining order.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028883)

>> Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet, every steaming pile of shit they serve up is pute gold to these people

This was modded as insightful?!

Yes, I've been on /. a while but that doesn't mean I stop hoping for intelligence.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027731)

They won't be suing Apple, nor Microsoft out of existence. But at least they've finally brought their gun to the OK Corral. They can probably achieve a Mexican standoff.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027991)

They won't be suing Apple, nor Microsoft out of existence.

Motorola will be doing most of the suing I bet (at least for the patent portfolio it's already holding). Since Apple and Microsoft are using intermediaries to do some of their suing, I would expect Google to do a little bit of the same as well. Using proxies would compartmentalize some of the risks of losing some lawsuits (I would assume).

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029789)

Motorola will be doing most of the suing I bet...

I bet not. Would you care to put a dollar figure to the size of your bet?

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028079)

This will be very interesting. I see three different players in this standoff:

Apple:

Decent hardware - not totally high end, but certainly enough for what they allow on them.

User-friendly operating system - Most of the "masses" think it is wonderful and easy to use.

Microsoft:

Aging Hardware - I think that while they had great phones ten or fifteen years ago, they haven't been keeping up with the curve save a few notable exceptions. (I could be wrong, feel free to correct me. Wasn't the N900 the last good thing before it was shitcanned?)

Poor? operating system - I don't know many people with a Windows phone, but I haven't heard a single positive review (Not counting net articles, where anyone can find a small army supporting their argument).

Google:

Aging Hardware - Again, I can't really think of the last fantastic Motorola that everyone wanted to rush out and buy.

Fastest Growing (and Most Used now unless I am mistaken?) operating system.

Given that Samsung has pretty much the shiniest hardware in their phones/tablets and they use Android, I can see an interesting bond forming between the two. Game theory would suggest that these two buddy up and have the best hardware AND the best software and try to run the market. I can't really see this going fantastic for MS in this case, seems that both Google and Apple have a good and bad aspect to the business, but MS seems to have two poor ends of the stick - the best of nothing - and I don't think that a Microsoft/Apple alliance is very likely, even with the threat of a Google/Samsung bond.

I actually think there will likely be a lot of courtcase banter going around as they square off and basically touch gloves. Once it is evident who is going to come out on top though, I don't think there will be any really super serious outcome courtcases, I think the only lawyer talk will really be the pre-match quibbling.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028497)

Aging Hardware - Again, I can't really think of the last fantastic Motorola that everyone wanted to rush out and buy.

Seriously? The Droid Razr is one of the hottest phones out right now.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028639)

Google gets the Motorola name and distribution agreements with the carriers and 3rd party retailers. The hardware has been a commodity for some time now. Well, not for Apple but everyone else. Let HTC and Samsung make the phone, put a Motorola label on it, load an Android thats one generation ahead of everyone else, and profit! Oh, also Google finally has the clout to force carriers to take phones packaged more or less crapware-free the way Google has always wanted to sell them (G1 and G2 anyone?).

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028825)

Poor? operating system - I don't know many people with a Windows phone, but I haven't heard a single positive review (Not counting net articles, where anyone can find a small army supporting their argument).

So what did you hear from the people who do have them?
And it's not about a supported argument, it's about objective reporting and detailing the features in comparison to other platforms:
Just [engadget.com] read [pocket-lint.com] through [cnet.com] these [pcmag.com]. Certainly it's not without fault, but it doesn't appear worse than any of its competitors and does do things a bit differently and offer a different perspective on smartphone usage, just as Android differs from iOS. It's down to personal preference, and obviously some people are going to be quite overzealous about their smartphone operating system choice regardless of which platform they choose.

Personally i found it to be very good, it has its strengths and weaknesses just as Android and iOS do. I'd attribute much of its lack of success in the market to its association with the Windows brand - maybe they should have tied it more to XBox - since the OS is really surprisingly good.

Naturally take that as anecdotal evidence but i urge you to at least try it - if you don't like it that's fine but it's certainly worth giving a go :)

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029681)

I actually like Windows Phone 7... development for it is as nice as anything else (save maybe webos, which I also really like) I use android mostly because I like to tinker.. I have yet to see a really good out of the box experience with it that matches WinPhone, or webos... but hey... iOS and Android are the big kids in the playground now.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027977)

Seems doubtful at this point. A lot of Motorola's best patents are part of industry standards and must be licensed under FRAND terms. The EU is currently investigating Motorola because they've been unwilling to license these patents to Apple. If Google continues down this path, it's likely that they'll be on the receiving end of several fines. So far the only patents that they really have against Apple are related to push email and iCloud. They can definitely stop Apple with those patents, but Apple may not care if their hardware remains untouched.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (4, Insightful)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027999)

You're an idiot if you think this was a acquisition meant to destroy Apple. It's quite the opposite: it's a defensive acquisition. It's a bunch of Cold War maneuvering: you fire, I fire. Any lawsuit big enough to destroy Apple (doing my best to type that without laughing) would surely come at the hands of Apple firing everything they have. Hopefully this will just keep everyone's lawyers at bay, and everyone can focus on making cool stuff.

Re:Let the lawsuits begin! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028899)

And with Motorola Mobility it seems Google gets a nice little patent war chest. I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence to be honest.

I think this move by google is an excellent one from a business perspective because they did indeed buy Moto Mobility for the patents and this will now allow them to have real leverage and ownership of key patents that are used on mobile telephony.

It will also ensure that android continues to be actively developed.

People need to start treating these companies a bit more fairly, a lot is a stake and the more competition there is, the more innovation there is and the better (i.e. lower) prices we pay as consumers.

IMHO if apple had their way, everyone would have an iphone, ipad, imac, itunes account, icloud storage and apple undies to go with it. That would lead to them winding back on innovation and leave us with no other choices....a very boring world to live in. They would also charge way more for their over prices products then they do as is in that scenario.

Lets also be honest here and admit that apple does not play real fair at the manufacturing/patent levels with other companies, competitors and also how they handle production by way of out sourcing it. IN fact they royally screw us over on pricing here in Australia so I am all for anything that forces them to give us the end user a fairer deal and better value for our hard earned dollars.

Now before anyone says i am anti this or that, I have an apple macbook pro and I also use MS products extensively in my role at work. After 15yrs in the industry i care more for things being fit for purpose then i do for brand names so save me the flame.

peace.

Opposition from open source? (3, Interesting)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027601)

Correct me I'm wrong, as I'm not in the know, but wouldn't this be a plus for rom development on motorola droid phones?

Re:Opposition from open source? (4, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027983)

Seriously, guys, anyone that can provide some links that shows "strong opposition from open source"?

Re:Opposition from open source? (4, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028071)

Correct me I'm wrong, as I'm not in the know, but wouldn't this be a plus for rom development on motorola droid phones?

It could.

With HTC officially unlocking its bootloaders and Samsung officially hiring the Cyanogen guy (and then encouraging him to continue doing his custom rom development on the side -- with a healthy salary and no strings attached), custom Android rom development is looking very promising all around.

Thank heavens (5, Insightful)

drhodesmumby (2520918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027609)

Hopefully this will give Apple and Microsoft reason to pause for thought on its lawsuits against the Android ecosystem.

I'm getting tired of reading about a new assault every week; 17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate (assuming of course that Apple won't try to continue the Jobs dream of killing competition entirely...).

Also, I'll love seeing any hardware to come out of this.

Re:Thank heavens (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027681)

I'm skeptical Apple will stop its lawsuits. Samsung has plenty of patents, and yet they go back and forth. I'm with on the hardware part. I'd love to see Google/Moto fight it out with Apple with some kickass tablets and phones running Jelly Bean or Krispy Kreme, or whatever those letters end up being.

Re:Thank heavens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39027823)

I don't think it will happen before Lollipop or Marmalade.

Re:Thank heavens (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027901)

...some kickass tablets and phones running Jelly Bean or Krispy Kreme, or whatever those letters end up being.

Krispy Kreme is trademarked. Jelly bean seems not to be.

A little known fact, the reason Android is now using generic pastry names is because they were originally using well-known android names, but they were afraid they'd get sued by the IP owners of those Android characters.

Re:Thank heavens (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029797)

I'm skeptical Apple will stop its lawsuits.

I have every expectation that Apple will stop its lawsuits because I am familiar with the capabilities of the Google legal team. And no I don't mean its outside contracters :-)

Re:Thank heavens (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027757)

17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

It is a well-known fact that an arms race is a proven method to increase cooperation between the big players. The unfortunate side effect is that once one of the big players crumble, their weapons end up sold to terrorists and megalomaniac dotcom tycoons.

Re:Thank heavens (3, Funny)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028179)

17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

The advent of IPv6 allows the requisite number of phone home patent chips to allow auto-negotiation of any lawsuits that may come about from now on.
But to limit the number of complaints about patents on Slashdot, I suggest we set an arbitrary limit on the number of patents allowed to exist at any one time.
I think 640K ought to be enough for everybody.

Re:Thank heavens (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028053)

17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

Yeah, the only thing keeping smaller players in the game as it is right now is that the large manufacturers aren't cooperating. Should this cooperation you speak of happen, you can bet it'll be cooperating to decide who gets to monopolize what. Basically, like the RIAA and MPAA do now: One business per industry please.

Google really does hold back the evil. (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027745)

They're by no means perfect, but when compared to other companies their size Google does proportionately less evil.

I'm hoping their search engine finds the "nuclear" patent holed up somewhere in Motorola's recently acquired portfolio that allows them to put an end to the other companies sue everyone else wars between Apple, Samsung and every other manufacturer out there. The "one patent to trump them all" wielded by Google that could put everyone else in a hurt locker unless they calm down and agree to play nice would be a dream and allow honest development and competition to resume.

I'm dreaming I know. I would like wielding of patents as a weapon to go away, but hopefully a big one in the rights hands could fix some issues.

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028339)

In green lighting the acquisition, the DoJ made sure to tell Google that if they were to do something like this, they would come down on them like a hammer.

Isn't it wonderful that Apple can attempt sue everyone out of oblivion with patents, and when another major player attempts to get patents to get on equal footing with them, the DoJ tells them that they can only use them defensively. That very statement in their ruling may keep Google from being able to protect other Android OEMs. So, yay.

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028865)

That was in reference to patents that Motorola has put into various standards and required to license under FRAND terms. With those types of patents, you don't selectively get to pick who can and can't license them. If Google can find patents that aren't part of any standard that Apple infringes on, they can go to town with those, but otherwise they're legally required to offer Apple a license at a reasonable rate.

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028347)

I'm hoping their search engine finds the "nuclear" patent holed up somewhere in Motorola's recently acquired portfolio that allows them to put an end to the other companies sue everyone else wars between Apple, Samsung and every other manufacturer out there. The "one patent to trump them all" wielded by Google that could put everyone else in a hurt locker unless they calm down and agree to play nice would be a dream and allow honest development and competition to resume.

Found lying in an old basement in one of Motorola's old European offices, the door bricked over decades ago by workmen cleaning out after WWII. It will be in a dusty red leather bound book with parchment leaves, bound together with ancient cotton thread taken from Egyptian mummies.

Maybe they'll make a video game out of the story.

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029265)

Found lying in an old basement in one of Motorola's old European offices, the door bricked over decades ago by workmen cleaning out after WWII. It will be in a dusty red leather bound book with parchment leaves, bound together with ancient cotton thread taken from Egyptian mummies.

The one patent to rule them all.

Unfortunately, it expired years ago...

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028583)

when compared to other companies their size Google does proportionately less evil.

Oh good. I look forward to seeing them ofiicially rolling out this updated company slogan.

Personally, between their hard-sell of google+, their collection and linking of every single thing I've ever done on my Android phone, and their updated privacy policy, I've decided it's time to diversify... at the very least breaking my google access out into multiple accounts for each different purpose, keeping them entirely seperate, and omitting as much identifying information as possible.

Re:Google really does hold back the evil. (0)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029671)

That depends on how you define "evil", I suppose. Asking for phone numbers and forcing interface on those who don't want them are pretty "evil" in my book. Is anyone else sick and tired of seeing "Gmail's getting a new look soon."? I mean really, where in the hell is the "I just want to check my email and don't want a new look" option?

Link from Ars (WTF???) (4, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027873)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/regulators-to-google-you-can-buy-motorola-but-we-still-dont-trust-you.ars [arstechnica.com]

FTA:

But regulators on both sides of the pond went out of their way to warn Google not to abuse the patents, with the Justice Department comparing Google's patent statements unfavorably with what Justice views as more responsible statements made by Apple and Microsoft.

The fuck are they smoking? Am I missing something gigantic staring at me in the face? How is Google's record of 'patent statements' remotely close to being worse than those of Apple and Microsoft? Does the US DOJ actually look favorably down on Apple continuous patent 'I'll sue you out of business' hissy-fits? When has Google ever abused a patent? Has Google ever even attacked another company with patents?

In any case, what I'd love to see is for Google to create a pool with these patents (haven't they done this already?) where anyone who enters the pool consents to agree not to sue others in the same pool. It wouldn't do much to stop patent trolls though, unless they find a way to kick out members who support them. Am I dreaming? Or should a legitimately don't-be-evil company do this?

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (2)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027963)

all that means is that apple and microsoft have paid ... i mean lobbied to ensure that google doesnt take their billions and push it against the will of the people.... negating the billions that they have

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028051)

all that means is that apple and microsoft have paid ... i mean lobbied to ensure that google doesnt take their billions and push it against the will of the people.... negating the billions that they have

According to influenceexplorer.com lobbying for 2009-2010 by both companies:

  • Apple: $191,456
  • Google: $1,488,974

So Apple spent 1/7 as much money on lobbying as Google but politicians are giving Apple special favors over Google... ummmm, why again?

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (1)

oxdas (2447598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028737)

Your numbers look a little low. According to House of Representative lobbying disclosure forms (available online), Apple spent about $2.4 million on Congressional lobbying for 2011. Compare that to $9.5 million for Google for 2011 and a paltry $40,000 for the U.S. Apple Association. The House of Representatives has a pretty handy search tool, but you must enter your searches in all caps for some reason.

FYI, this is only direct lobbying and not how much they spent on campaigns, pacs, etc. Unfortunately, in America between pacs, superpacs, other issue advocacy groups, direct lobbying, campaign contributions, etc. it is really difficult to get an accurate view of how much money a company spends unless they don't care that you know.

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029341)

According to influenceexplorer.com lobbying for 2009-2010 by both companies:

  • Apple: $191,456
  • Google: $1,488,974

So Apple spent 1/7 as much money on lobbying as Google but politicians are giving Apple special favors over Google... ummmm, why again?

That's the money they publicly accepted. The money they didn't report went into their off shore accounts.

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028059)

The fuck are they smoking? Am I missing something gigantic staring at me in the face?

That, sir, is Mr. Hankey staring at you.
"Hi-deeho!"

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028155)

Motoroogle made some pretty bizarre statements about their FRAND patents last week, to the EU and IEEE. And they're demanding 2.25% of the retail price from Microsoft (for H.264) and Apple (for cell shit). If all the FRAND players charged at that rate, patent licenses would exceed 100% of the retail price.

Yeah, H.264. Google is pushing WebM because they're afraid of H.264 patent trolls. To date, Motorola is the only H.264 patent troll.

Plus attempting to cancel Apple's license (via Qualcomm's chips), which is to say they refuse to license their patents to Apple and then complain that Apple doesn't license their patents.

Note that Motorola initiated the patent lawsuits against Apple. Maybe it was in anticipation of Apple suing them, but the reality is Motorola's is losing money and their a minor player in the android world and any copying that they're doing is far less blatant than Samsung.

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028623)

With the US economy going from manufacturing to consuming and litigating its in the best interest of the US law to set precedents so that US companies can win cases easily.

Re:Link from Ars (WTF???) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029181)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/regulators-to-google-you-can-buy-motorola-but-we-still-dont-trust-you.ars [arstechnica.com]

FTA:

But regulators on both sides of the pond went out of their way to warn Google not to abuse the patents, with the Justice Department comparing Google's patent statements unfavorably with what Justice views as more responsible statements made by Apple and Microsoft.

The fuck are they smoking? Am I missing something gigantic staring at me in the face?

Yes you are missing something gigantic. Microsoft and Apple have pledged to not use FRAND patents to sue someone out of existence. Google has basically said that if you use one of their FRAND patents in a $2. part on a BMW , then they are owed about 2% of the value of the BMW. Have you been ignoring news for the last month?

FUD? (4, Insightful)

binarstu (720435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39027887)

According to the linked articles in the post, consumer advocates (or, more accurately, at least one consumer advocate that is associated with Microsoft [techrights.org]) are opposed to this move because it gives Google "unprecedented dominance" in the mobile market.

None of the linked articles give any evidence of "strong opposition from open source... advocates". Can anyone explain or give examples of this supposed "strong opposition"? As is, this appears to be a mostly invented controversy.

ICS on Moto Hardware (2)

kmahan (80459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028045)

Now maybe there is a chance I can get ICS on my Moto droid 3. Admittedly the Droid 3 only had a lifespan of 6 months. But it would be nice if Moto actually supported it.

Re:ICS on Moto Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028763)

I'd just be happy with a bootloader on all Motorola devices that had the OEM unlock feature just like the Nexus line, so the latest CM version would work.

Even better would be image dumps and even source code, but compared to dealing with locked bootloaders, that is icing on the cake.

Right now, with some Motorola phones, you can't even find a FXZ or other image to flash back to stock if you bootloop. It would be nice if Google can step in and start offering a lot more to the modder crowd.

Good Hardware/Software (1, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028049)

I think it will be interesting to see what hardware/software combos come out of this. Hopefully Google can make well supported Android phones without all the crap that current ones have, and make them be upgrade friendly for official updates instead of having to guess which handsets will be popular enough to get an upgrade.

Unlock the bootloaders? (2)

ZipR (584654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028073)

Perhaps Google will persuade Motorola to unlock the bootloaders of their phones, to give a bit of assurance that the kevlar-encrusted, gorilla-glassed, nano-coated hardware will have up-to-date software on it for the duration of a 2-year contract? That would be great. And I might buy one...

Apple tops Google in poll on corporate image (0, Offtopic)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028125)

Post this here since we know it'd never make it as an article:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-13/apple-tops-google-for-no-1-image-as-buffett-s-berkshire-slips.html [bloomberg.com]

Apple Inc. (AAPL), burnished by the iPhone’s success and memorials to Steve Jobs, displaced Google Inc. (GOOG) as top company in Harris Interactive (HPOL)’s poll of corporate images. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) and Johnson & Johnson dropped.

Re:Apple tops Google in poll on corporate image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029009)

Seems like the solution here is simple, either Page or Brin has to die.

Re:Apple tops Google in poll on corporate image (1)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029033)

Wow thanks. I can totally see how this has something to do with the topic at hand.

Ohhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028185)

I don't have any illusions that this will lead to more freedom for users or anything, or even that it will lead to more choice in the marketplace, but I'm pretty damned sure that it's going to result in more products that I want to buy because they're not taking a gigantic shit on me any time I try to use them the way I want to use them.

Color me weird. I like both. (3, Insightful)

backspaces (747193) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028399)

I like both Apple and Google, use lots of both.

But when I got my latest phone, I decided against Android simply because the handset makers and the carriers pissed all over Vanilla Android to "improve" it.

So now I get Google building a standard. Unlocked. Updateable. Frequency agile. GSM. Mobile world wide.

Heck, I even want Google to build their own cellular network or at the least a MVNO.

This is not a fight between Apple and Google. Its a fight against both of them against the horrid carriers and clueless handset mfgrs.

Let the battle begin!

Re:Color me weird. I like both. (2)

wasme (35127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029445)

So now I get Google building a standard. Unlocked. Updateable. Frequency agile. GSM. Mobile world wide.

Uh, that's more or less what the Google Nexus (Nexus One, Nexus S, and now currently the Galaxy Nexus) phones are. (Although Google is sometimes a little slow at pushing out updates, but they get there eventually.) The Nexus phones all come with stock Android - no extra vendor software or configuration.

Although I'm not sure about 'Mobile world wide'. Your ability to use your phone somewhere (like, say, another country) will always be dependent on your service provider. But everything else you want is there.

Be prepared for two or three mega-corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39028419)

The rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Are these really a must have for a cheap nike shoe (-1, Offtopic)

manysky211 (2573731) | more than 2 years ago | (#39028935)

Full release details for the “Nike Dunk [es-nikedunksb.net]” color way of the Nike SB shoes [es-nikedunksb.net] are still unknown at the moment, but they have hit SB Dunks [es-nikedunksb.net] earlier today. Hopefully they will pop up at other locations too, but keep an eye out for them in the open market. These special 2011 New Nike SB Dunks [es-nikedunksb.net] shoes feature a combination of south beach-sequel blue and solar red on a synthetic mesh base, accented by black details such as Nike Dunk shoes [es-nikedunksb.net], Fly wire threads and inner collar lining. Are these really a must have for a cheap nike dunk shoes [es-nikedunksb.net] fan?

Motorola Mobility has a big chuck of the cable sys (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029001)

Motorola Mobility has a big chuck of the cable systems TV and HSI / phone.

Why only the US & the EU? (1)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029515)

I'm curious as to why Google & Motorola need the permissions of only the US and the EU. What about the rest of the world?

This spells doom for IP terrorism (3, Informative)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029647)

This spells doom for the IP terrorist policies of Apple and Microsoft, and is a probable "limiting factor" for Microsoft's phone ambitions. And obviously, this is all fine for Linux.

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