Motorola was once at the forefront of mobile communications, but has lost its way. Meanwhile, one-trick pony Google is desperately searching for a second act.
Google will pay $12.5 billion for Motorola’s handset business, giving it access to 24,500 patents. This should strengthen the Android operating system and shore it up against IP claims.
But will it be enough to take on Apple iOS in the marketplace? Google risks alienating handset makers who use Android. Nokia, meanwhile, is enjoying a bump on speculation it may be bought by Microsoft.
For Google, in addition to the patents, included in the $12.5 billion package are Motorola Mobility’s 19,000 employees, $3 billion in cash, and $3.3 billion in revenue last quarter.
But the real winners of this deal may be Motorola CEO and Chairman Sanjay Jha, who is reportedly going to make $90 million from the acquisition; or billionaire Carl Icahn, who just became $415 million richer.