Google has officially announced the $2.91 billion deal,
Google picked up Motorola for $12.5 billion in August 2011, bidding up the deal by a 33% premium. It’s worth noting, though, that Google subsequently sold off the Motorola Home division for $2.35 billion, so the markdown is less than the $9 billion it seems on the surface. Still, that also doesn’t take into account all the money that Motorola has lost for Google over the past couple years.
Part of the reason Google acquired Motorola was to obtain defensive patents that could be used to protect that Android ecosystem, which at the time was under heavy legal pressure from the likes of Apple and Microsoft. However, those patents, many of which were bound by Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory agreements, haven’t proved as valuable as Google would have hoped.
Money aside, the fact that Google would sell off Motorola less than three years after buying it suggests that has decided that getting hitched was a mistake. While working with Motorola gave Google greater control over at least one expression of the Android experience, it also jeopardized its relationship with other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.
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