Well this is a bit of a surprise. It's been revealed this morning that Google has agreed to buy Motorola Mobility, the part of the Motorola that's responsible for all those Android smartphones and tablets we obsess over, for a total of $12.5 billion. Google says that the acquisition of Motorola will help it to "supercharge the Android ecosystem" and will "enhance competition in mobile computing." Google has said that Motorola will remain a licensee of Android, that Android will remain open, and that that Moto will be run as a separate business. The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
To say that this news took some folks off-guard this morning would be a bit of an understatement. However, if Google could snap up any Android manufacturer, Motorola would probably be higher up on its list. Moto has been all Android, all the time for a while now, and the original DROID on Verizon is one of the devices that helped make Android what it is today. There are still a number of questions circulating around this deal, but more should be revealed later today and in the months leading up to the deal's approval. The full press release is available below.
UPDATE: In case you were wondering how other Android device manufacturers were feeling about the Google-Motorola (or Googlerola) deal, some quotes from the heads of HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and LG have been posted on Google's website. Find them below:
“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”
– J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division
“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
– Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson
“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”
– Peter Chou, CEO, HTC Corp.
“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”
– Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D, President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility
Combination will Supercharge Android, Enhance Competition, and Offer Wonderful User Experiences
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA and LIBERTYVILLE, IL – AUGUST 15, 2011 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
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.”
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.”
Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Google and Motorola Mobility will hold a conference call with financial analysts to discuss this announcement today at 8:30am ET. The toll-free dial-in number for the call is 877-616-4476 (conference ID: 92149124). The call will also be webcast live at http://investor.shareholder.com/media/eventdetail.cfm?eventid=101369&Com.... The webcast version of the conference call will be available through the same link following the conference call.
About Google Inc.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
About Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people's lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit motorola.com/mobility.