Google CEO Larry Page has just announced that the company has at last completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which has been in the works for around 9 months now. Originally announced in August of last year, Google had plenty of regulatory approval hurdles in its way before it could finalize the move; but with the approval of the acquisition coming from China a few days ago, the company was finally able to seal the deal. Motorola Mobility has now been acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, meaning that the company paid $40 per share.
So, now that the deal has been closed, what’s happening now? Well, effective immediately, Motorola Mobility is no longer trading on the NYSE. Sanjay Jha – credited by Page as someone who made a big bet on Android early on – has stepped down, with Google employee Dennis Woodside taking over as the new CEO. Page praised his work at Google, stating that he had worked throughout the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia to expand Google’s business there. He also more recently helped to grow revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion.
Now, I wonder what’s in store for the company in the coming months and years, though; there have been rumors of post-acquisition layoffs, as Google trims down the company down to something that it would like to work with.
They certainly seem pretty enthusiastic about the acquisition, with Page remarking back in August that this move will help to supercharge the Android ecosystem (reassuring everyone, however, that this doesn’t mean that Google will stop working with other Android hardware manufacturers.) But what was the point of shelling out $12.5 billion to acquire a mobile hardware manufacturer for a platform that Google licenses out to everyone anyways? Considering that Google has been a victim of patent wars fought by Apple and Microsoft, the company did state that they wanted Motorola Mobility’s established repository of patents to defend Android against litigation from competitors’ “anti-competitive” litigation.
Thus, Google felt that this acquisition was actually a pro-competitive move to help defend its platform against all of the recent litigation. Google’s relationship with Motorola Mobility moving forward versus that with other manufacturers should be interesting to see as well, on top of what public perception of that relationship will be. Microsoft and Nokia are two very close companies, and some already regard them as the best manufacturer to go with when it comes to Windows Phone partially for that reason.