Google has announced that it will purchase Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion USD. This is the largest acquisition for the web search giant to date, the deal has been approved by the boards of both companies. It will give Google its own range of hardware; smart phones and tablet devices, plus ownership of Motorola’s 17,000 patents and it’s 7,500 pending patents. In the increasingly litigious world of mobile technology, experts say the patents could prove vital for Google as it seeks to defend Android from allegations of infringements. Android is already the world’s most popular operating system for mobile devices, used by Motorola as well as HTC, Samsung and others. Google said it will continue to let other companies use the Android platform for their devices.
Fundamentally, the decision to buy Motorola underscores the growing importance of mobile computing to Google, which draws most of its revenue from selling advertising associated with Internet searches, as consumers and workers increasingly perform more computing tasks with handheld devices. Google’s lead in mobile search is thought to be even greater than its search dominance on desktop computers.
Motorola is also a significant producer of television set top boxes, potentially offering a boost to Google’s on-demand service, Google TV.
Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world.
If approved by regulators, the Google-Motorola deal could set the stage for a massive battle between the five integrated hardware-software platforms: Apple’s iOS, HP’s webOS, RIM’s BlackBerry, Nokia’s Microsoft’s Windows MOS and Google’s Motorola- Android. Among those five players, Apple and Google would be the clear initial leaders in market share.