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Google bets big on Motorola Mobile
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Google bets big on Motorola Mobile

Larry Page Google CEOIn the job only four months Google’s new CEO Larry Page has made a bold bid of $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobile. Page had this to say in the company blog.

Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have
contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.

Page no doubt had his eye on the success of the Apple hardware/software eco-system and this move to acquire Motorola will create a similar Google eco-system worth the risk of angering other Google hardware partners. Even more, in this age of patent lawsuits Motorola’s patents are an important part of the deal. Says Page:

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.

The deal is subject to government approval and is certainly not a done deal..The Federal Trade Commission, which could take jurisdiction is already investigating Google competitive practices around search and Android..plus the Justice Department would no doubt want a finger in the approval pie as well. Competitors could be expected to gang up and claim antitrust ramifications further complicating the issue.

Whatever happens this potential deal will hang over the indstry for months..perhaps years. In the meantime it will put a lot of pressure on Microsoft to actually acquire a hardware manufacturer..Nokia would have to have the inside track as a potential acquisition. Does this make RIM the odd man out?

What do you think?

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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