Lenovo reportedly in 'final stages of talks' to buy Motorola from Google [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: January 29, 2014

Motorola DROID 2

Well, this is surprising. According to sources speaking to Reuters, Lenovo is close to striking a deal with Google that will see it purchase Motorola for nearly $3 billion in cash and stock. The discussions are reportedly in the "final stages," and it's said that an official announcement of the sale could come as soon as today. 

Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 2012, and now it appears that the Big G may end up selling Motorola less than two years later for a quarter of what it paid. The move is definitely a bit of a surprise, but it could have something to do with the fact that Motorola hasn't been doing well in the courtroom lately, and the company's multiple Moto X sales have led some to suggest that it may not be selling truckloads of phones either.

As for Lenovo, the company has been enjoying some smartphone success in China, and last year it revealed its plans to enter the U.S. wireless market within a year. We've yet to see such a move quite yet, but a purchase of Motorola could certainly help Lenovo to break into the States and quickly establish a relationship with the carriers. It's worth noting that Lenovo was previously rumored to be eyeing BlackBerry for acquisition, so it's possible that Lenovo may have set its sights on Motorola after BlackBerry decided to continue doing its own thing rather than be purchased by another firm.

What do you make of this rumor? Do you believe that Google will really offload Motorola to Lenovo for $3 billion?

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Google just confirmed that Lenovo will be buying Motorola Mobility for a cool $2.91 billion. Google CEO Larry Page explains that his company feels that Motorola will be better off with Lenovo because it is focused on creating smartphone hardware, which Page says is necessary to make it in the ultra-competitive smartphone market. Page adds that selling Motorola will help Google to focus on driving innovation across the entire Android ecosystem.

While Lenovo is indeed acquiring Motorola, Page says that Google will hold on to most of Motorola's patents, which it will use to defend and protect the Android ecosystem as a whole. Lenovo intends to keep the Motorola brand alive after the deal's completion. The transaction will first need to be approved by regulatory bodies in the U.S. and China.

UPDATE 2: Lenovo says that Motorola's Project Ara modular smartphone effort is not a part of its deal and that both it and Motorola's advanced research unit will remain with Google.

Via Reuters, Google, @RogerWCheng