Google acquires Motorola Mobility: the full story

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Google's surprise decision to purchase Motorola Mobility last year has since cleared regulatory hurdles in the US and abroad, and the deal is expected to close soon. As part of the acquisition, Google will take on Motorola's deep patent portfolio and manufacturing expertise -- a move that seems to have raised eyebrows from Google's other hardware partners. Catch up on the full story below.

53 updates and 7989 comments below.

Feb 12 10:07p

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside headed to Dropbox

Last month Google announced that it was selling off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, and the inevitable executive shakeup is coming to pass. According to The Wall Street Journal Dennis Woodside, who became Motorola Mobility's CEO when Mountain View bought the company, is headed to Dropbox as the company's first chief operating officer.

Woodside had actually been an executive at Google for years before taking the Motorola job, and made such an impression in Silicon Valley that Apple's Tim Cook...

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Jan 29 4:09p

Google sells Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion

Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, giving the Chinese smartphone manufacturer a major presence in the US market. Lenovo will buy Motorola for $2.91 billion in a mixture of cash and stock. Google will retain ownership of the vast majority of Motorola's patents, while 2,000 patents and a license on the remaining patents will go to Lenovo. At the deal's closing, Lenovo will pay Google $660 million in cash and $750 million in stock, while the remaining $1.5 billion will be paid out...

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Oct 21 9:00a

How long will Google keep burning money on Motorola?

Over the last eight months, losses at Google's Motorola Mobility have accelerated despite three rounds of layoffs that slashed around 6,000 workers. The division is now on pace to bleed $1 billion a year out of the search giant’s bank account. And yet Google's stock topped a record high $1,000 a share today as investors showed renewed confidence in the company's future. The questions raised back in April seem more pertinent than ever: why exactly did Google buy Motorola? We’ve got another...

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Jul 20 1:29a

Motorola building a 'world-class wearables design group,' according to job posting

We knew Motorola was interested in crazy wearable technology — like vitamin authentication and electronic tattoos — but now it appears the Google-owned company is preparing to actually design and build computers you can attach to yourself. In a job posting for a "Senior Director of Industrial Design," the company lays out a goal: the "ideal candidate" will help create "a new world-class wearables design group within Motorola," and manage day-to-day operations of the group.

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Jul 10 9:15a

Moto X and the Droids of the future: what we know so far

The hopes of a reinvigorated Motorola are riding on a single much-rumored phone called the Moto X. CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed that the Moto X existed and provided the first official details on the phone at D11 in May, but the company has yet to fully reveal the device. Nevertheless, a series of leaks have filled in the picture quite a bit. We know that the Moto X will be a mid-range device set for a release this summer, and it's also expected that Motorola's working on a series of...

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Apr 26 4:33p

Does anyone know why Google bought Motorola?

Why did Google spend $12.5 billion to purchase Motorola Mobility? It's been nearly two years since the deal was announced and close to a full year since it closed, and the questions keep piling up while the answers keep getting worse.

The biggest problem is that Motorola's patent portfolio doesn't appear to be worth anything close to what either company assumed: the judge in the Microsoft v. Motorola patent case ruled yesterday that Redmond owes a paltry $1.7 million in annual royalties for...

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Apr 25 10:37p

Judge rules that Motorola's patents aren't worth the $4 billion a year it demanded from Microsoft

A judge presiding over a legal battle between Microsoft and Google-owned Motorola issued a ruling today that valued elements of Motorola's patent portfolio far below what the company felt they were worth — by a difference of over $3.9 billion a year.

The two companies have been locked in a legal battle over Microsoft's use of several Motorola patents that are part of the 802.11 Wi-Fi and H.264 video standards. As such, they're considered standards-essential patents, and must be licensed to...

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Apr 12 12:05p

Google deal to sell Motorola set-top box division to Arris receives final regulatory approval

Google's deal to sell off the Motorola Home cable box unit to the Arris Group has passed its final regulatory hurdle. The Department of Justice has given the acquisition its approval, and Arris expects the transaction will now close around April 17th. Last December, Google finally found a suitor for the cable box division that was included with its purchase of Motorola Mobility. The news came after months of rumors that the company was looking to sell off the set-top box unit and focus solely...

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Mar 13 1:58a

Mystery Motorola phone leak could point to new Google influence

Images and video of an unidentified Motorola handset have appeared on Tinh tế, and it looks quite unlike any of the recent Kevlar-coated phones from the Google-owned manufacturer. While there have been rumors that a flagship "X Phone" will come sometime this year, it doesn't look like this device is it — as per Google's comments about upcoming Motorola devices, the 720p AMOLED display is unlikely to make anyone say "wow" like we'd hope from a true collaboration.

Mar 08 12:22a

Google's Motorola to lay off a further 10 percent of its workforce

Following its acquisition by Google, Motorola Mobility announced sweeping layoffs last October with about 4,000 people — 20 percent of all employees — losing their jobs. It seems the restructuring didn't go far enough, however, as the Wall Street Journal reports that the unit will make a further cut of around 1,200 people, or over a tenth of the workforce, in the US, China, and India. A Motorola spokesperson said:

Feb 28 1:01p

Google's CFO says Motorola's products aren't 'wow' by Google standards (update)

If you were hoping to see a revelatory smartphone from Motorola in the near future, you might want to tone down those expectations. Google's Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette today said that products in Motorola's pipeline are "not really to the standards that what Google would say is wow — innovative, transformative." The surprisingly honest admission came during Pichette's session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference.

When questioned on where things...

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Jan 31 2:07p

Motorola job listing confirms 'X-Phone' project in the works

Late last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google and Motorola were working on a new phone and tablet with the code names "X Phone" and "X Tablet." These devices were said to be the first true collaboration between the companies since Google purchased Motorola Mobility earlier in the year, and allegedly focused on superior cameras and incorporated bendable screens and ceramic materials. Today, a job posting for a Senior Director of Product Management for Motorola on LinkedIn more...

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Jan 22 6:48p

Google points to future devices for still-unprofitable Motorola

Motorola has been both a promise and a problem for Google since the $12 billion acquisition in May 2012. For the last three quarters, Motorola has delivered a modest boost to revenue (at Google scale) and a large drag on profits. This quarter, Motorola is a particularly thorny problem for Google's accountants.

In December, Google sold the Motorola Home division, makers of cable boxes, routers, and other non-mobile hardware, to Arris for $2.35 billion in cash and stock, laying off several...

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Dec 21 2:58p

Google and Motorola building 'X Phone' and tablet, WSJ reports

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is taking its smartphone fate into its own hands, working with Motorola to build its own device known internally as the "X Phone." Due sometime next year, the new device is said to not replace the work Google-owned Motorola is pursuing with its line of Droid devices, but to serve as another product altogether — and that after the X Phone is complete, a so-called "X Tablet" will be coming up next.

The individual reportedly in charge of the...

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Dec 19 6:20p

Google sells Motorola Home set top box division to Arris for $2.35 billion

Google announced on Wednesday that it has sold the Motorola Home business it acquired earlier this year to the Arris Group for a sum of $2.35 billion in cash and stock. Motorola Home produces set top boxes that are sold to cable providers who then lease them out to end users. Google has been shopping around the Home side of Motorola for quite some time, with Arris and Pace Plc both considered to be front-runners for the purchase. As per the terms of the agreement, Google will receive about...

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Dec 10 11:24a

Google may entertain financing options to help sell Motorola's set-top business, claims Bloomberg

Google has been trying to offload its Motorola Home set-top cable box business, which it acquired with its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility earlier this year, for some time now, but it seems that selling an aging set-top business these days is easier said that done. According to the latest from Bloomberg's sources, the best offers that Google has had for Motorola Home have come from existing set-top manufacturers, and even then, Google may have to help finance the purchase in order...

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Dec 07 9:45a

Google expected to earn up to $2.5 billion from auction of Motorola set-top box division

Google's auction of Motorola's set-top box division is set to come to a close today, with bids from multiple suitors expected to reach a selling price between $1.5b and $2.5b, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing numerous sources familiar with Google's dealings, the Journal notes that the deadline for bids may be pushed into next week, but the likeliest scenario is that one of the prime bidders will seal the deal by the end of business today. Arris, Pace, and Technicolor are the three...

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Oct 18 5:05p

Want a Google-influenced Motorola phone? Keep waiting

On Google's Q3 2012 earnings call today, CFO Patrick Pichette talked briefly about Motorola Mobility's performance about half a year into its acquisition:

Look, we're really pleased with Motorola's progress in its first 150 days. As indicated in our public filings, our team has made a lot of operational changes, we harmonized and narrowed the product portfolio, [undertook] streamlining of software operations, and we scaled back the markets in which we operate. But that said, we're just at...

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Oct 16 6:43p

Motorola calls stock Android 'the right thing,' but bows to Verizon customization

One of the biggest questions surrounding the "New Motorola" after the Google acquisition is a simple one: if it's owned by Google, why isn't it shipping stock Android software on its new RAZR M and RAZR HD phones? We presumed the answer was a simple one: Verizon's demands, and Motorola has essentially confirmed that assessment.

Speaking to a group of reporters last night, Motorola Senior Vice President, Product Rick Osterloh pointed out the company's main focuses going forward, and one of...

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Oct 07 4:10p

Motorola kills off Webtop software and Lapdock accessory

Motorola on Friday confirmed that it has abandoned development of Webtop — software that enabled smartphones to power laptops via the Lapdock accessory. The company explained the decision in a statement provided to CNET, bluntly attributing the move to a lack of consumer adoption.

Motorola first unveiled the concept at CES 2011, alongside the Atrix 4G for AT&T. The idea was rather straightforward — plug your handset into the Lapdock and use Webtop to enjoy the "full PC experience" on your...

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Sep 29 8:08p

Motorola Atrix 4G will not be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, despite earlier promises

Motorola has confirmed that the Atrix 4G won't be receiving an upgrade to Android 4.0 after all. The manufacturer broke the news with a recent update to its Android upgrade schedule, noting that the Atrix 4G, Electrify, and Photon 4G will all remain on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, rather than making the jump to Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Atrix 4G was among the handful of handsets pegged for a Q3 2012 upgrade earlier this year, when Motorola released its device roadmap. Of the three devices...

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Sep 23 5:23a

Droid Bionic Android 4.0 update now coming in Q4 as new Motorola exec promises transparency

New Motorola VP of product Punit Soni has pledged on Google+ to improve the company's poor track record of supporting its devices with software updates. Specifically, he calls out Droid Bionic owners as having gotten a "raw deal" and says that a plan is still in place to update the phone to Android 4.0 — it was supposed to happen in Q3 this year, but with only a few days left on the calendar it looks like that deadline will be missed. Motorola has updated its device roadmap to state that the...

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Sep 11 4:30p

Can Google's 'new Motorola' break free of Verizon?

At the outset of Motorola's "On Display" event last week, new CEO Dennis Woodside declared the arrival of a "new Motorola." That's not exactly true yet, though. It's only been three short months since Google officially completed its acquisition of Motorola, and the Droid RAZR HD, RAZR Maxx HD, and RAZR M were certainly in the works long before that. But beyond the devices, Google's vision of a future "new Motorola" failed to address the most important part of Motorola's recent past: Verizon.


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Aug 29 5:22p

Google hiring firm to sell Motorola Mobility's cable-box business, says Bloomberg

We first heard rumors that Google was interested in selling off Motorola Mobility's set-top box business back in March, and the company may now be moving forward with those plans. Bloomberg reports that Google has hired banking and financial firm Barclays to help it shop the unit, which would include not just set-top boxes but all hardware the company currently sells to cable providers. Though things are in the very early stages, Google is reportedly hoping it can get as much as $2 billion...

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Aug 13 12:57a

Google's Motorola laying off 20 percent of its workforce as it focuses on a few good phones

Just months after Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, major restructuring is resulting in a 20 percent cut (about 4,000 people) of the phone maker's workforce, reports The New York Times. A third of the job cuts are reported to be coming from its US operations, following an earlier reshuffle that saw Motorola lose 40 percent of its vice presidents. As part of the move, Motorola will also be dialing down its operations in Asia and India, as well as its R&D spending in...

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Jul 27 11:20a

Motorola Mobility leaves Libertyville, heads for Merchant Mart in downtown Chicago

It seems like Google's search for office space back in May has come to a swift conclusion, as Motorola Mobility announced today that it will be moving its headquarters away from Libertyville, IL and into the top four floors of Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. This puts Motorola just a few blocks away from Google's Chicago offices in the River North neighborhood. Google hasn't made many public interactions with Motorola Mobility since its acquisition, but now that the two are such close...

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Jul 25 10:56a

Google: Motorola's 'patents and developed technology' worth $5.5 billion, less than half of acquisition cost

How much are Motorola's patents and intellectual property worth? $5.5 billion according to Google, which revealed the figure in a regulatory filing Tuesday. That's a slightly less than half of the total $12.4 billion sum it took to acquire Motorola Mobility — a deal which finally cleared antitrust scrutiny and gained approval in May. Ownership of Motorola's extensive patent portfolio was seen as a key motive for Google's major purchase, allowing the company to better protect its Android OS...

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Jun 21 10:11p

After acquisition, Google reiterates it is 'not integrating Motorola'

The unusual stock split (and Larry Page's lost voice) isn't the only news to come out of Google's shareholder meeting. Speaking to said shareholders, CFO Patrick Pichette reiterated Google's intention to hold Motorola at arm's length and allow it to "stay on its own battlefield." Just as that messaging is not at all different from what Google broadcasted before the acquisition was completed and the new CEO installed, it looks like major shakeups at Motorola won't happen as quickly or as...

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May 24 2:11p

Eric Schmidt on Motorola Mobility's future: 'a lot more focus on Android'

Everyone is keeping a very close eye on what Google does with Motorola Mobility — not the least of which are Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG, which are concerned that the acquisition will put them at a disadvantage if Motorola gets insider access to the latest builds of the operating system. We still know very little about Google's plans — we've heard rumors that it was considering selling the handset business to Huawei and the cable box unit to another suitor — but today The...

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May 22 4:39p

Motorola Mobility's new CEO: who is Dennis Woodside?

It's been months in the making, but Google has finally secured approval from the US, EU, and China to purchase Motorola Mobility, the consumer-facing side of the legendary hardware manufacturer, and as of today the $12.5 billion deal is complete. Other than the fact that Google now owns a massive hardware company and a portfolio of useful patents, the biggest news today is that Motorola Mobility's CEO, Sanjay Jha, has been replaced by a Google executive named Dennis Woodside.

Don't be...

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Google completes acquisition of Motorola Mobility, CEO Sanjay Jha replaced by Dennis Woodside

Completing a nine-month journey through regulatory approvals on multiple continents, Google has closed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility today. The move comes just days after Google cleared the last major hurdle — approval in China, where Motorola has had a particularly strong presence for many years — and means that the Chicago-area phone maker will stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange effective immediately.

As reported in February, CEO Sanjay Jha has stepped down and will be...

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May 21 11:36a

Motorola staff could see layoffs following Google buyout, says TechCrunch

Now that Chinese regulators have approved Google's acquisition of Motorola, the deal should be closing very soon, though it looks like it might also include a significant number of layoffs. TechCrunch reports that layoffs are coming imminently — the site initially reported that as much as 30 percent of Motorola's worldwide staff could be cut, though the number has since been pulled from the article. Last week it was revealed that the purchase was was expected to close this week, and it looks...

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May 19 5:00p

Google will keep Android free and open for at least five years

According to the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and the Associated Press, Google had to agree to keep Android free and available for anyone to use for at least the next five years in order to gain China's approval to purchase Motorola Mobility. There's no more information given on the exact reason for this request, but it seems likely that it was included to allay fears that Google would give Motorola preferential treatment compared to other Android manufacturers. This stipulation removes the...

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Google's Motorola buyout approved by China, expected to close next week (update)

Google's purchase of Motorola has been a long time in the making, but it looks like the last hurdle has finally been cleared: the Associated Press is reporting that China regulators have approved the transaction. A Google spokesperson confirmed that the Chinese government cleared the purchase on Saturday; the deal is now expected to close next week.

Update: Since this story broke, the AP as well as the Wall Street Journal have both reported that Chinese regulators attached a major stipulation...

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May 07 8:23a

Google reportedly eyeing Chicago for new Motorola Mobility headquarters

According to Chicago Business, Google is looking for more than 500,000 square feet of office space in downtown Chicago to house Motorola Mobility — currently based in suburban Libertyville — which could hold about an estimated 3,000 employees. It's a curious move considering that the companies could benefit from cozying up together in the San Francisco Bay area, but then, there are plenty of other telecoms in the Windy City: Tellabs, Motorola Solutions, and Alcatel-Lucent, just to name a few....

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Apr 11 9:44a

Is Google planning to sell Motorola's handset business to Huawei?

Here's a strange one: Wall Street Journal columnist Dennis Berman says that rumors are swirling in Asia that Google has already offered to sell Motorola's handset business to Huawei for a "high price." That's the first we've heard of any such plans, but they would line up well with previous rumors that Google also wants to sell Motorola's cable box division — as well as underline the patent-centric nature of the acquisition. After all, Andy Rubin told us flat-out that Google would build a...

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Mar 20 9:29a

China extends investigation into Google's proposed Motorola purchase

Google's planned purchase of Motorola Mobility has gotten approval from the US government, the Europe Commission, and all other required regions except China. Unfortunately for Google, China isn't any closer to approving the deal — according to an SEC filing, China's Anti-Monopoly Bureau has just extended the second phase of its investigation into the proposed purchase. The filing indicates that Google is working closely with the Anti-Monopoly Bureau and that it still expects the deal to...

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Mar 07 12:40p

Google looking to sell Motorola's cable box unit?

Google's never said much about what it plans to do with Motorola Mobility's struggling cable box division after it completes its acquisition of the company, and now we may know why: the New York Post reports this morning that Google's preparing to sell the unit. According to the Post, Google's retained Qatalyst Partners and Barclays Capital to prepare for a sale, and there are glimmers of interest from investors who may want to buy both Motorola's cable box division and Scientific Atlanta,...

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Feb 27 9:21a

Google building 'firewall' between Android and Motorola after acquisition

Google's Andy Rubin led the charge to acquire Motorola, but the Android boss won't have anything to do with the company once the deal closes — he told reporters at Mobile World Congress today that he "sponsored" the acquisition but now has "nothing to do with it.... I don't even know who's running it." Questions about Motorola's future are starting to heat up now that the EU and US have approved the deal, which is expected to close soon, and Google's move to replace Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha...

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Feb 23 1:24p

Dennis Woodside to replace Sanjay Jha as Motorola Mobility CEO, Bloomberg says

Bloomberg is reporting that Google's Dennis Woodside — who replaced Tim Armstrong following his departure to run AOL — has been selected by the company to succeed Sanjay Jha as Motorola Mobility's CEO, according to "three people familiar with the matter." Woodside is already a senior vice president at Google, so the move isn't much of a promotion; in fact, he'd already been leading the integration effort, so it's a logical fit. It might come as a surprise that current CEO Jha is apparently...

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Feb 22 10:52a

Microsoft says Motorola and Google will 'kill video on the web' with patents, files European complaint

Microsoft announced this morning that it's filed a formal competition complaint against Motorola and Google with the European Commission, arguing that Motorola is abusing its patents committed to Wi-Fi and H.264 video by demanding excessive royalties and trying to block sales of products that include the standards. The move follows a similar complaint filed by Apple with the EU last week and an official investigation into Samsung's patent licensing practices, and serves to highlight growing...

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Feb 15 7:51p

Meg Whitman: Google and Motorola could lead to a closed Android

Onstage at HP's global partner summit in Las Vegas, while re-iterating the company's commitment to an open webOS, CEO Meg Whitman told the crowd she believes that there is still room in the market, stating:

"I think there is room for another operating system. iOS is great but it is a closed system. I think that Android may end up as a closed system because of [Google’s] relationship with Motorola."

While Whitman may be on to something that the Google Motorola merger has the potential to...

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Feb 13 5:05p

US approves Google's buyout of Motorola

The US Department of Justice has just approved Google's buyout of Motorola, shortly after the European Commission cleared the deal earlier today. Google still needs the consent of China, Israel, and Taiwan to complete the deal, but if successful, it will reap a rich harvest of mobile patents from Motorola.

The DOJ echoed statements made earlier today by the EU: it maintains that while this acquisition isn't likely to harm the mobile market, it's still on guard against improper use of...

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Google's purchase of Motorola approved by EU

The European Commission has just cleared Google's $12.5 billion buyout of Motorola Mobility. With a likely approval of the same merger on the way from the US Justice Department, Google now needs the consent of China, Israel, and Taiwan to close the deal.

EU Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia says that "this transaction does not itself raise competition issues," but that the Commission is keeping a close eye on the behavior of players in the mobile market, "particularly the increasingly...

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Feb 10 3:35p

EU planning to approve Google's purchase of Motorola next week, according to Reuters

We heard yesterday that the US Justice Department was likely to approve Google's purchase of Motorola, and now Reuters is reporting that the European Union is just about ready to do the same. The verdict should come down on Monday, when the European Commission is scheduled to meet and discuss whether or not to clear the deal, and two independent sources both confirmed to Reuters this should come to pass without incident Google still needs clearance from China (which has until March 20th),...

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Feb 09 6:02a

Google's Motorola takeover set for US Justice Department approval, says WSJ

A mere few days before the European Commission's February 13th deadline for deciding on the legality of Google's takeover of Motorola, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US Justice Department has made up its mind and will approve the merger. The time since Google announced its intention to acquire Motorola for somewhere around $12 billion has been filled with antitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic sweating the details of how Google will wield the powers contained in...

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Feb 08 4:53p

Google letter promises to license Motorola's standards patents after acquisition

Google just sent letters out to various standards organizations, including the IEEE, promising to license Motorola's patents related to standards like 3G and H.264 after it completes its planned acquisition of the company. The move doesn't signal any change in policy, but is rather a bit of well-timed showmanship by Google: Motorola already has obligations to license "essential" patents to various standards under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, but the deal is being...

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Jan 19 2:10p

Google-Motorola deal set for February 13th approval deadline in Europe

Reuters reported today that the European Commission has set a February 13th deadline to decide whether or not to approve Google's buyout of Motorola Mobility. The commission put the acquisition on hold back in December to get more information. Google said in December that the request for more information was "routine" and still expected the acquisition to close in 2012, and it looks like it's on track to do just that. Motorola shareholders have already given their approval, and we're still...

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Dec 12 10:10a

Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility paused by EU to get more information

Though Google's proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility has been cleared by Moto's shareholders, it still needs regulatory approval around the world — and the European Commission has temporarily stopped its approval process to collect some additional information. Without going into detail, a Commission spokesperson only said that it was looking for "certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction," while Google says that the request is "routine." Details on the...

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Nov 17 8:36p

Motorola Mobility stockholders approve Google buyout

Google is free to purchase Motorola, at least as far as the investors are concerned. Today, at a special meeting of shareholders, "approximately 99 percent" of Motorola Mobility stock voted in favor of the proposed merger. It's still not a done deal, of course, as the government will have a chance to weigh in, but it's looking like our best guesses about Google's intentions for the $12.5 billion purchase will be put to the test next year.

Aug 18 1:18p

Google and Motorola: Independence Day or Doomsday?

Since Google made its intentions known that it would acquire Motorola's Mobility division (the arm of the company behind its smartphones and tablets) for a cool $12.5b, speculation about what the deal really means has run rampant in the tech community. Based on the announcement post Larry Page penned on Google's official blog, it was clear that there are at least a couple of reasons why the folks in Mountain View would want to have their hand in Motorola's business. The first and most...

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Aug 15 10:58a

Google buying Motorola: Nokia, Samsung, and other industry players react

Google said this morning that it dropped its "top five" Android partners a line yesterday to let them know that this Motorola acquisition was taking place -- so naturally, many of them had prepared statements ready to go. The move will have ripple effects across several entire industries, though -- not just the Android ecosystem alone -- so we wanted to reach out and get reactions from a few companies that have a vested interest in Google's successes and failures.

Overall, the theme across...

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Google and Motorola: what are all those patents for?

Google tried to present its $12.5b acquisition of Motorola as an opportunity to "supercharge the Android ecosystem," but it's clear that the deal was equally prompted out of desire to protect Android from further patent lawsuits using Motorola's strong patent portfolio. From all appearances, it actually seems like Google was first interested in somehow licensing or buying Motorola's patents, and then decided it would be nice to spend a little more and just buy the whole damn company. Of...

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Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

Explosive news this morning, kids. Google has agreed to purchase Motorola's recently spun-off Mobility arm for a fee of $12.5 billion. Mobility was the name given to Motorola's consumer devices unit, which includes the Droid smartphone line and the nascent Xoom tablet range, both of which rely on Google's Android software for their operating system. Motorola was alone among the major smartphone vendors in not joining Microsoft's Windows Phone reboot and its loyalty to the Android ecosystem...

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