Google announced on Monday that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility.
The deal, valued at $12.5 billion, will see tighter integration of Android in Motorola’s Droid devices. Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”
Google claims it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business but the tight Android integration will likely leave Windows Phone out in the cold. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha told investors that the company is “completely open” to using Windows on its handsets despite its Android focus. Jha made his comments at an investor conference last week, prior to the Google deal. “We’re not leading the charge on Windows 8 but as we become comfortable that there’s a viable ecosystem and quality of innovation and quality of services being there, we’ll certainly be open to it,” he said. “Clearly all of our focus today is on Android.”
Motorola’s senior executive Christy Wyatt previously said that Motorola would not be opting to use Windows Phone 7. “I don’t envision us using Microsoft,” said Wyatt at the Mobile World Congress conference in February. “I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now.”
Microsoft and Motorola are both in the middle of patent spats concerning Android. Google CEO Larry Page noted on Monday that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.” Citing recent patent auctions, Page expects that Google’s acquisition will help protect Android. “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,” said Page.
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012. Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”
Update: Google has released the following statements from Android manufacturers:
Peter Chou, CEO, HTC:
“We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”
Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson:
“I welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
Jong-Seok Park, President & CEO, LG:
“We welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”