Google bets $12.5 billion on Android with Motorola Mobility buy

Credit: flickr/jyri

Nice to know someone has money right now, isn't it? And Google does, stashing billions and billions in a vault so big Page and Brin can go swimming Scrooge McDuck style. But their pool is now $12.5 billion (with a B) short as Google bought Motorola Mobility, probably their most committed Android partner. Oh, yeah, they also bought tens of thousands of patents.

This may explain why Google didn't jump on some of the earlier patent deals (Nortel's for $4.5 billion). Motorola, maker of the first mobile phone, the DynaTAC (I still have one to scare my children with when they beg for a new phone, since it weighs 28 ounces and is ten inches high, before adding the antenna), has what may be the most valuable cell phone patent pile of anyone. And, Google promises, Android will stay open and available for all the other phone vendors. Really, that's what they say.

It's a patent deal

The original value of those patents was < 900 million. Yes $4.5 billion was split between different companies, but all that move was to abuse Android. Now, they cannot abuse it. $4.5 billion gone down the drain.

OnAli Tinwala on

its all about the patents. google needs to snatch as many patents to stave off all the lawsuits. thats why they are buying the old IBM patents too.

boilinabag on

Didn't see that coming. Your move APPLE!

James Wachira on

google just turned apple on their head. despite popluar belief, apple doesn't really have a ton of patents related to mobile technology. motorola does. you can bet steve is meeting with company lawyers first thing this morning to figure out what he is going to do. motorola has enough patents to roadblock the iphone for YEARS. this should be interesting.

hutwarmer on

Android makers, and lovers, should be nervous

This can't go well for Android support. The OS was never really open to begin with, and now it's just the proprietary Motorola OS, for all intents.

SalaciousPuck on

Yes! Slick motorola phones with raw Android and no bloatware or motoblur! I see a bright future for this combination, HTC and Samsung beware.

JOE1 on

I wonder what this means to the likes of HTC, Samsung and LG? Will they now be considered competitors by Google?

Jboy90277 on

Crazy Google

What is Google thinking buying an established company with actual revenue? Madness. Absolute madness. :P

Steve Vallas on

Google has plenty of revenue. What they don't have is any history of success selling hardware. This is an expensive defensive move to protect Android. Google has the money, but it's a little unclear what they'll do with the none-IP part of MMI

Dan Schuh on

As a consumer and with Google's entitlement attitude they've been broadcasting lately, this does leave me a bit uneasy.

MikePulsifer on

Oh, and Google just inherited the old, expensive constellat­ion of Iridium satellites which never worked as planned. Good luck with that.

mherrera on

Do you think this is A) Brilliant! Or B) Crazy or C) Google can buy anything they want and it won't hurt them?

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