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Google buys Motorola

Published time: August 15, 2011 16:46
Edited time: August 15, 2011 20:46
Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS is demonstrated on a Motorola Xoon tablet during a press event at Google headquarters (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS is demonstrated on a Motorola Xoon tablet during a press event at Google headquarters (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

In an effort to keep their high-tech products from facing anymore patent infringement lawsuits, Google today announced plans to purchase Motorola Mobility.

The acquirement, which Google is paying $12.5 billion in cash for, will give the search-engine giants an addition 17,000 patents currently owned by Motorola, as well as another 7,500 that are pending. That slew of trademarks will greatly keep Google’s Android operating system — the main competitor to Apple and its iPhone — in the clear from further intellectual property lawsuits.

"With mobility continuing to take center stage, the combination with Motorola Mobility is an extremely important event in Google's evolution," Google Chief Executive Larry Page tells the Wall Street Journal. Page adds that those several new thousands patents that will go under the Google umbrella will surely help combat lawsuits by Microsoft, Apple and other smart phone manufacturers.

The announcement of the buy-out comes mere weeks after the US Federal Trade Commission announced plans that they would be opening up a probe of their own against Google. Days later, a French Internet company filed a suit of their own in Paris Commercial Court that alleged that Google was using unfair practices in Europe to block competitors from offering comparable services up against Google’s own products.

At that time, The Journal remarked that Google was most likely free from any charges being filed by the FTC, noting that, in America, operating a monopoly is perfectly legal, the real trouble would be “only to acquire one unlawfully or abuse it.”

Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility will not be a move solely to keep the Android out of courtrooms, however. In a blog post from CEO Page, he calls Motorola a “market leader in the home devices and video solutions business.” With Motorola Mobility under their wing, Google will be able to offer that much more competition against tablets and other gizmos offered up by Microsoft and Apple.

"It is much more than just a patent sale. It is obviously more than a strategy shift for Google that is very significant," says a source familiar with the deal to Reuters.

Google will purchase the shares from Motorola, in cash, at $40 apiece.


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