This time last year, Google was licking its wounds after the dismal failure of its Nexus One phone.
You know, the one designed and sold by Google. A complete Android package from the search giant.
So what better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of that failed experiment than by coughing up $12.5 billion, in CASH, for Motorola and jumping feet first into the handset manufacturing business?
I know, you’re checking to make sure it’s not April 1st, but this is hot off the wire:
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
Big news, huh? Now Google’s heading for uncharted waters with this acquisition. So many questions are raised, including:
- How will other handset makers react to this? Will they go running to Windows?
- How will Microsoft react to this? Will it go running out to buy its own handset manufacturer?
- How will Apple react to this?
- And, how will the FTC react to this?
That last question seems to be the one that Google CEO Larry Page is most concerned with–going on the offensive in a blog post announcing the acquisition (emphasis added):
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.
In other words, this is just poor little Google trying to bring a little balance to the Microsoft/Apple dominance.
What are your thoughts Pilgrims?