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The Google/Motorola deal is lawyer repellent. Or rat poison, if you prefer. It is a tragic and wasteful by product of our screwed-up patent system. Just this year, $18 billion is being spent not on innovation and invested not in entrepreneurship and growth but instead in fending off lawsuits. Damn straight, we need patent reform.

Having said that, this is good for Google and Android and its ecosystem. That's why HTC, LG, and Sony all released statements praising the deal. Google isn't going into competition with them. Google is buying them protection to defend against Apple, Nokia, and other patent holders and legal thugs.

The net result is that Android can now explode even more than it has already. I imagine -- I hope -- there were other companies in other fields -- cars, appliances, TV, devices of all sorts -- that were waiting for some security so they could add connectivity to their devices, using Android.

Google wins because, as I've been saying, the real war here is over signal generation: Google, Facebook, and to an extent Apple and telcos and others want us to generate signals about ourselves -- who we are, where we are, what we want, who we know, what we're looking for, where we're going -- so they can better target their content, services, and advertising. Mobile is a great signal generator.

But I've also been saying that mobile will become a meaningless word as we become connected everywhere, all the time. Who's to say or care whether we're connected with a phone as we walk, through our car, on our couch via the TV, in the kitchen via the iFridge, or at the desk (remember that?). Mobile=local=me.

I disagree with those who say that Google had hardware envy vis a vis Apple. Google went into the hardware business and was smart enough to get out. I imagine that Google will operate Motorola as an independent entity; it won't become Googley. Indeed, I can imagine Google spinning off the product arm, keeping the rat poison.

So this is a good if unfortunate deal to have to be done. That's my take.
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DO you think this will result in better tablets?
True.This is crucial for the Android's ecosystem.
Google giving the finger to Apple, fuckin' brilliant move.
Yes but I can ALSO imagine Google saying to Motorola....hey Moto....this Blur thing SUCKS....get rid of it.
True that this is mostly an IP issue, but truly curious what this will mean in go-to-market. Google's push into hardware hasn't been all that inspiring, so not sure what to expect here. And the multitude of Android/Honeycomb providers? What happens to them?
Interesting take, but where's the evidence this was done solely for patents? You talk to people high up in Google? Maybe they just want more control over their hardware.
Right now Steve Jobs just threw a chair at a window!... Oh wait, wrong Steve, I meant Ballmer!
I don't see how our patent system suddenly broke. How is software innovation really that much different than anything else such that patents suddenly break?
* The Mobile Wars II - Google Strikes Back *

1) Google is seeking to buy patents that would put it on a level plane with its rivals

2) Google, , put in an initial $900 million offer to buy the patents of bankrupt phone-equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp. It was outbid by a group that includes Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Research In Motion Ltd, which all make devices that compete with phones running Google's Android operating system.

3) Motorola sues Apple alleging iPhone and iPad patent infringement

4) Google buys Motorola Mobility and its patent portfolio for $12.5 billion

5) .... your comments are appreciated ...
Is there a good resource (link) that explains exactly what patents google gets with the deal? Everything I've seen just glosses over the topic very generally. Where are they placing their nuclear missiles?
I wondered why Google didn't fight harder for the Nortel & Novell patents with so much $ in reserve. Now we know why.
Somehow I can't help but see this being a failure for Google long-term, but we'll see how they manage relations with manufactures, plus whether the patent ownership actually helps them.
+Jeff Jarvis I agree with you that Google's hand was forced by patents, but I desperately hope that they use this purchase as an opportunity to start releasing mass market phones that do not have bastardized versions of Android on them. Hopefully they will also be able to release OTA updates more often than once a year like I got on my original Droid.
Have you read Nilay Patel's post on This Is My Next? I hope you and Leo Laporte and Gina Tripani will be discussing this on TWIG. Nilay Patel would make a terrific guest this week.
Unfortunately, US government has a lot more things to worry about than patents nowadays.
Just said, "That's some spin: Google buys a trove of patents, as a lawyered-up move, and people think it's about hardware and factories."
Patent system as practiced is a scam and in the eyes of the companies participating not a bad thing. Companies get to move money around back and forth in internally which increases their bottom line. I think it is a tacit agreement between all big companies. Considering that the broken system brings out the evil lawyers then they all might as well play. And look, it is profitable even when they don't win.
KC Dyer
its definately a mafia style approach
Right, +Torsten Kleinz, that This American Life show is a spectacular primer on the obscenity of the patent situation.
Those statements from HTC, LG, and Sony sound fake and forced to me. Did you notice that they all said almost exactly the same thing? Seems like Google gave them a statement and told them at gun point not to stray too far from it. I bet they're in the back room deciding not to use Android for future products. WebOS is looking pretty hot right now as a licensed OS. :)
After reading your post I just wish I was born a few decades later
more money is wasted by your primary system for elections
If these patents become freely available to those in the open handset alliance then they have big reason to applaud. Google is playing good samaritan bigtime. The game has changed, and we can all now, finally, benefit.

Pi in the face of Cupertino.
How much longer before the injunctions blocking sales of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 in Australia and Europe are quietly dropped? Or will Apples lawyers try and wring a couple of more dollars out of fighting that one?
You say it ..."Damn straight, we need patent reform"...
Samsung will be the only one that might not be so fast in congratulating Google on a deal well done. Samsung has hitherto made Google's devices..., but then again, I have little doubt that Samsung makes most Motorola Mobility components, so they win too from an increase in their Google-based business.

With Google's attitude toward how they make money, let's hope that we see the prices of Motorola (obviously Android-powered) smartphones drop. Why? Because, as you say, Google wants signals, especially signals that direct traffic to Google searches. Making money from devices will be nice, but with the OS being given away free (which is now just about a shoo-in despite all those legal battles that hover), quality smartphones should now continue to cost less than has been the case with the threatened license-related fees that some were talking about as being a result of the many legal battles facing Android.

As you say - a good deal. A win for consumers!
" I imagine that Google will operate Motorola as an independent entity; it won't become Googley."

They said as much in the official blog post about this. Separate company, standard Android licensee. We'll see how that plays out...
I don't know how Google plans to protect Android from Apple, Microsoft and.other companies.
I wonder if Google/Moto will open stores to compete with Apple. Apple vs. Google vs. Microsoft/Nokia vs. RIM is the battle for the future. The computer is the network as Sun used to say and the network is a commodity. So the profits are in locking people into 'ecosystems' that's basically a selling interface flavors. And when it comes to this, Apple has a huge advantage with its Apple stores and its customers' cult-like devotion. My guess is you're right: Google bought Motorola for their patents...but if they're smart marketers of hardware--and the jury is still out there--they'll put big money into customer experience.
bish s
One reason Google went into phone hardware business was to force open the closed carrier dominated handset system. By giving consumer choice, even if relatively short lived, they let us know that there are other alternatives and made the carriers relinquish, at least partially for now, their tight death-grip on the OS. Apple had already begun the process, Android just added another nail to the coffin.
Of course the protection angle (as per Jeff Jarvis) is important, but my first thought is that if anything COULD challenge iPhone it would be this, simply because, even if there's a PERCEPTION that G+ will work better w/ Android, millions will go to AND switch to Android. I wonder what Apple and Google stock are doing this morning?
Google will soon become like the Churches from the movie Priest. Controlling and owning everything.
Is all this litigation the result of gaping lack of competition for so many years that corporations became complacent and lazy, and now they are scared? Seems like corporations are to afraid to let go of a dying business model to actually think of something new to try, so they make something up about patents. Or maybe I missed the point here.
+Jeff Jarvis those are canned quotes. it remains to be seen how google manages to navigate the competitive waters now that it will have a stake in the manufacturing of smartphones as well. surely motorola's competitors are aware of that.

i think hp just saw its chances improved of finding licensees for webos.
+James Tsai Actually I think this is one of the things the federal government should tackle now. The current patent system is hindering innovation. That impacts both current companies and future growth, which hinders job growth.
Google likes the fact that Motorola is a leader in home devices and video solution business.

However, when it comes to the strength in Motorola's smartphone's, they can easily be hacked.
bish s
Relative to Friday MMI -2% GOOG +0.32%
Google+ PLUS Android, PLUS Sprint network .... could be heaven? And I'm a devoted iPhoner (on ATT).
As long that Android remains an open system, which is hard to see when google has 20k new Motorola employees focused on their products.
+Justen Fox Overall, Motorola Mobility’s three complaints include 18 patents, which relate to early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in key technology areas found on many of Apple’s core products and associated services, including MobileMe and the App Store. The Motorola patents include wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.
This looks like the cold war era now, everyone pointing everybody else with their patent missiles to ensure total anihilation. And no game for the small fish, sorry, entrepreneurs should look somewhere else to develop their ideas.
I'm with +Lawrence Estrada I don't fully understand how this acquisition protects HTC, Samsung and others with pending litigation with Apple, Microsoft, etc. Am I to assume that Google will somehow be able to insert themselves into this ongoing litigation or will they attempt to sue Apple to stop Apple's defense of their intellectual property? Or are they planning to sell patents to these "infringers" so they can fight Apple only to have the "infringers" sell the patents back after ligation? I'm confused.
So my guess is that when someone licenses android, they will also be granted license to all relevant patents.. covering all manufacturers? I assume this would only cover the android portions of said licensed devices, and not the manufacturer "skins" (blur, touchwhiz, sense, etc).. which the manufacturers would have to fight for themselves.. and optionally leave off of devices so they don't have to deal with it?
+Donnell Wyche Apple et al were attacking Android by attacking its licensees, trying to chill its use. Now Google can sue back on their behalf. Puts a protective cloak around Android and its ecosystem.
+Javaun Moradi And I agree with you. However with election looming, I feel governments are leaning more towards doing things that "general public" will care about , and not patents per se.
+Jim Surles That's interesting: Get Android and get Motorola patent license as part of the deal? Value added, indeed.
This seems like an expensive way of getting around the legality of distributing of an OS it does not wholly own...
+Pau Aliagas Yes, or now the entrepreneurs need to use a platform with patent protection, a la Android.
I agree with you Jeff! Too bad the $18 Bil couldn't be spent on something else, but glad they did it. I'm optimistic Google will do the Googley thing with their new treasure.
+Emmanuel Lalande wow, that's the opposite of what I imagined would happen! Google stock down 2 and Apple up 2? What am I not getting?
+Lawrence Estrada Surely Google will look into the hacking side of things as they develop Android to efficiently work with Moto smartphones?
I have a couple of friends who work at Motorola here in San Diego. They've gone through a lot of restructuring in the last few years, with the latest being split in two. It's not the healthiest company. But they have a GREAT work force... and I guess Patents
Just out of curiosity, I've opened a hangout about Google Motorola news. Open to Public
I think this is a very good move but has the "potential" to be a great move, meaning all the patents and resource Google acquired was great but what Google got was also Motorola's TV and other consumer products that Google has failed to do by themselves. So by utilizing Motorola they can get right into the consumer home right away
+Emmanuel Lalande that must be it. Right, it's not just a one to one correlation
+Frank Poliat In fact , I have just sold Apple´s stocks and had aquired more from Google :) something big is coming. ( And If I had Facebook´s stock I would do the same) something big is coming
Ultimately, patent rights may all become meaningless due the battle over access. While there are plenty of content providers and app-makers for consumers to choose from, and while there are plenty of smartphones and other appliances that will connect to us and each other, the ultimate control over our mobile tools rests in the hands of bandwidth providers. A handful of corporations controlling wireless and wired access are making billions of dollars by essentially controlling trillions of dollars of the economy. The patent fights are mere skirmishes compared to the war over access. Not much comfort in knowing my phone is patent-safe whether I am using an IPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7, or whether I am using HTC, Motorola, Samsung or Nokia hardware, if I have constricted or costly access to content and services. It would be great of all the $$$ being wasted in patent battles were being use to improve access.
I've got two patents in the USPTO being prosecuted and I can tell you people don't know shit about patents, especially bloggers and twitter commentators.
"The Google/Motorola deal is lawyer repellent. Or rat poison, if you prefer."

Greatest two sentences ever put into words on Google+ !
Amen Jeff, I'm voting for you, when are you running?
Bad for Google's partners who created the Android market. Deal is great news for Microsoft. Apple will keep chugging along, firing on all their cylinders. RIM is screwed no matter what happens. 
+David Geller It's not bad for Google's partners. They get protection. Google doesn't want to compete with them; it had to to get the patents. As it says, it will operate Moto as just another licensee. As it must be. Channel conflict would kill Android.
+Emmanuel Lalande Naw... the return of the Google phone. I am in the minority, I guess, I find Android to be consumer-hostile. I keep hoping that there will be an Android phone that just runs Android and is well-supported.

I think Android is a great idea, screwed up by lazy manufacturers and greedy carriers. Right now, it is doing well, because the marketplace is being bombarded with a bewildering array of Android phones- but they all seem to have such a short half-life... I was hoping the Google/Motorola deal might fix some of this. But no... it appears not.
The other question, raised elsewhere, is how Moto can improve Android. Google needs to want that. It also needs to be open about the improvements that come. This is rather like benefiting from the improvements made to its platform by competitors of New model, new age.
Indeed, the Google's Motorola acquisition will fix the problem. Many consumers felt unsafe having a Motorola smartphone +Kimenyi Waruhiu.
Jeff - your suggestion that it's not bad for Android partners seems at odd with business logic. What possible reason would they now enjoy having a partner become a direct competitor? We need only look back at the Zune experience Microsoft pursued to see what could begin to happen.

I predict within two design cycles we will see HTC and others begin shifting toward Windows. They make decisions based solely on market opportunity and profit potential. Google hasn't protected them with Moto's patent farm. Google has protected Google.

Winners: Apple & MSFT
Losers: Google partners & Google corporate culture

Postscript - my favorite phones of all time - the Startac and the Razr!!! But, the days of RF wizardry are long gone. It's a vertical platform play.
+Emmanuel Lalande A vast amount of Android press is devoted to incessant speculation as to whether any given phone will be updated. And when. It is a total crap shoot. There is a bewildering number of Android phones, and you really have no way of knowing how they will perform with Android over time. Can it or will it be rooted? Will the next version run well on it? Is this particular ROM any good? Will the carrier deign to update it? Will the particular bugs that vex me, ever be fixed...? It is a consumer nightmare.

The Technorati can afford to get a new Android phone every three months or whenever they get a preview model. But for us great unwashed, we have to stick with a phone for 2 years. And Android is not as great a value over the long haul. My first gen Droid was miserable after the first year. With rooting- it sputters along, but only just. I was hoping that Google buying Motorola Mobilty might herald and age where Google may exert more control over herding the kittens that are the Android universe.
Motorola Mobility also contains the set-top box arm of the company, formerly General Instruments. Will cable operators allow Google to add Hulu and Netflix to their Motorola set-tops, or will Google finally make a Google TV without an IR blaster?
+Jeff Jarvis Can people write good code without understanding the hardware, and viceverse? For sure their engineers will work together to make it better, the hardware is very important but so is the sofware.

And is a fact that Android must to be simplified. They did a great job with the iphone application for g+, and with g+ itself.

I am an Apple´s fan and they have a lot of work to do if they like to beat Apple products, Android will become the Os for the smartphones of the people, and Apple will continue as high quality gadget for people that likes and enjoy technologic pieces of art
lawyer repellent or rat poison. So great words commented on this deal.
+Patrick Rady Well I get your point, but its much better now, the times of first Droid were the times of really fast changes of the Android platform. Its much more slower and steady now, I have my Samsung Galaxy S1 for over 14 months now (eurpean version) and still don't see point in upgrading. I do agree buying android phone is more confusing, but if you stick to the flagships you cant be wrong.
+Jeff Jarvis Lawyer repellent sure but what it really means is Google has now made Android and probably Chrome untouchable from patent trolls, a sad fact of life. But think about how shrewd the deal was financially too: it is earnings accretive, adds to earnings per share! This would not have been the case with Nortel purchase at probably $ 5 bn to buy them. Offsetting the $ 12.5 billion / $ 40 per share cash purchase price is $ 4.50 per share of tax benefits and $ 11 per share in cash at Motorola Mobility. Nortel had 6,000 patents and Motorola Mobility has 17,500 worldwide patents and 7500 more pending. So quite a clever move.....get your competitors to overpay for Nortel and pull the jujitsu move on them with Motorola Mobility!
and I expect on completion of deal, HTC will stop paying Microsoft its Android license fee! HTC will be very grateful.
Patent lawyers. Ambulance Chasers of the Digital Realm?
+Lukasz Gladki I suspect you may be right. But after being badly burned. I'd like some assurance...
Jeff I think this is more about Microsoft and Nokia that intellectual property.
I agree with you Jeff, this is an extremely sad reflection on how the patent system works. I truly wish that Google could have put that money towards innovation instead of buying a new company. I know that HTC and others came out and showed support but I can't help but think that in the long run Google and Motorola run away with the android market, I hope they don't but the thought still is prevalent in my mind. 
It's weird to me that everyone is so concerned with the machinations, stratagems and motivations of the respective corporate entities in this deal. Since we are, at the most basic level, consumers- shouldn't we be interested in how this deal may or may not affect the products we consume?

I don't really give a flying fig why Google did what they did. I just want to know if this means that if I buy another Android phone (which I am not inclined to after my first experience) will I be happier than I was the first time around?

It is almost like Google, Android, Motorola, Apple, Microsoft are sport teams that we fancy, and the stuff they make is... irrelevant.
+Alberto M. Rubio I didn't mean to imply that other opinions aren't worth hearing, I am just surprised there isn't more speculation/concern on the impact on the phones that we (try to) use. :)
Let's not forget the REAL WINNER today is Carl Icahn who walks away with at least $473,000,000.

He lives to be a rat for other companies. Nice pay day.
Here's an idea for Google. Avoid being sued by creating original products based on your own technology and then you won't have to worry about getting sued. The other option is to do what other companies do if they are borrowing technologies owned by others. Pay for them. Sounds crazy I know.
It's a shame it had to come to this, but Google does have to defend itself (and Android). This acquisition plus the 1,000 patents from IBM is a damned solid start. Hopefully this will put an end to the leeches (Microsoft, Apple, Oracle) profiting off Android.
There is an interesting blog post by ZD net that gives someother good reasons for this apart from "lawyer repellent". The entryinto the set top box area is interesting with its potential help to Google TV. It also puts forward that other hardware manufacturers may not be upset because apparently there was a real chance that Motorola was going to sue other Android phone manufacturers and this should end that, I don't know the details of this.
Jeff, I used to consider Google only a victim of the patent system, but did they not get their initial venture capital funding based on Page's search patent? That would indicate Google likes patents when it suits them and dislikes them when it suits them - as opportunist as their competitors.
+Justen Fox Motorola patents portfolio:
As of January 2011, Motorola will own approximately 24,500 patents and patent applications, worldwide. These include substantially all of the patents unique to Mobile Devices and Home businesses. Our patent portfolio generally relates to wireless, audio, video, security, user interface and product design, along with applications and services related to our products. Our Mobile Devices business segment will have approximately 14,600 granted patents and 6,700 pending patent applications, worldwide. Our patent portfolio includes numerous patents related to various industry standards, including 2G, 3G, 4G, H.264, MPEG-4, 802.11, open mobile alliance (OMA) and near field communications (NFC). The Home business segment will have approximately 1,900 granted patents and 1,300 pending patent applications, worldwide. Further, we believe our portfolio of patents in 4G will position our customers well in the upcoming technology transition from 2G to 3G.

Interesting to note that Motorola Mobility has also filed patent infringement complaints against both Apple and Microsoft in Oct and Nov 2010.
I just filed a patent for buying patents.
Jeff, the brilliance of Google's move is multifold:

1) Yes, it's buying itself major patent protection and finally shuts up naysayers (like me) who said Google should have bidded Tau billions instead of Pi billions for the Nortell patents.

2) It's bought itself a manufacturing company. It doesn't mean Google is going to switch to being a hardware company but now it can release a Pure Android phone with total control of software and hardware. A smarter move would be to allow MotoBlur or whatever skin--as an OPTION that can be turned off with a flip of switch back to the PA version, and make that option available for all (Motorola) Android phones.

3) Combined with Google's own fiber optic network and wifi hotspots, Google finally can be the total connection from user to the net, for cell phones, for notebooks and tablets or any other connected device, including robocars. Leo talks about how he likes to listen to audiobooks while commuting, imagine doing that, while browsing the web, teleconferencing in Google Hangouts, watching videos on YouTube or Netflix--because a Google ISP wouldn't have stupid datacaps, but real unlimited data plan.

4) Google could be a cellular provider using VOIP and if competing providers complained too much, Google could play hardball and offer to pay the contract cancellation fee for new users to switch over.

Of course this is all pie in the sky until the FCC approves the buyout.
Having spent the weekend playing with my new Logitech Revue, it would be nice if GoogleTV made its way into some of MOTO's set top boxes.
I wonder if they will still change the name of motorola mobility to something simpler and ubiquitous. Nonetheless i would to see more stable devices from motorola, as a verizon employee ive seen a fair share of glitches with their current line up.
I do wonder how Motorola has already been protecting its patents against any potential, unlicensed usage by Apple and/or Microsoft? Those companies tend to pay more attention to patents and, where applicable, pay for other's IP. How will Google avoid engaging in "anti-competitive practices" to use its new Weapons of Mass De-Innovation?
Well the tacit approval of Google's acquisition by other hardware manufacturers is very telling of what they feel the future lies for mobile OS's. Android is here for the long haul, it's becoming a force to be reckoned with. The state of patents in the mobile sphere is shining a huge spotlight on software patents that patent trolls wish would stay out of the minds of the mainstream.
+Andrew DeFaria Wow, ok, it's scrolling so fast I haven't read everything yet, but there are several aspects that are different for software. The biggest in my eyes is that a vast majority of software patents fail two tests: 1) They're OBVIOUS, and 2) they're based on prior art. The patent examiners started to be rewarded by how many patents they APPROVED and amazingly, the number of rejected patents went down (across the board, not just in software). But since you can have 5,000+ patents in software that cover the exact same thing and that thing was already in use across the world 3 years before the first granted patent. You have a bit of a mess.
+Jeremy Yoder I'm sure there have been many people who have made the same claims about patents for things other than software, that they are obvious, based on prior art and get approved too quickly. Before your claim that "patent examiners just approve anything nowadays" will be accepted you'll need to dig up a little more evidence than just you say so. Again, I'm sure our ancestors at the turn of the 19th century made very similar claims. I'm not saying there aren't, perhaps, very valid reasons why the patent system needs to be looked at more closely - I'm saying that you have not yet identified those reasons.
+Andrew DeFaria That's far too long a discussion to have in this limited forum. The evidence I've seen is quite persuasive. Do your own research and get back to me :)
Alert - Patent-Mobbing
They should finish this patent disaster in the US. It´s bad for worldwide developments in general and only preferable for lobbyist.
All these posts and no one has mentioned that the deal also provides big buildings all around the world filled with 19,000+ employees, lots of them engineers, that will now be working for Google.
+Jeff Jarvis is it possible that this is also to force Google into the Government market as well? I mean Motorola owns a ton of US Government contracts... Google now can get their hands on those and "googlize" them so that they can bring more web computing to the floor....

that being said, does google know how to deal with Top Secret and Classified information?

EDIT - OK I didn't realize Moto seperated gov't contracts and mobility.... ok... well, then this isn't as cool as I thought :(

(I mean, it's still cool, but not cool cool)...
+Jeremy Yoder I know of no length limitations to Google+ (do you?). As for doing my own research, sorry, I got better things to do with my time. I'm just saying that each generation suffers from the mistaken notion that their situation is unique or different when often it isn't that at all, rather they just want special consideration or to change the system to their advantage. This is not to say that there are no possible unique things going on here. One might be that software is immaterial and thus costs like nothing to ship and that it gives you perfect copies, etc. I posted to try to engender debate about such topics. But you didn't raise those issues, thus I have no interest in pursuing your issues.
I couldn't agree more. Though I am very exited to see what hardware comes out of the new Motorola.
+Ian Hay I suspect that it is easier, now, and that my experience would be better. But I need to get over the once-burned, twice-shy thing. Just preparing for the purchase is fatiguing...
+Ian Hay Plus, I think people should set aside technolust for a bit, and demand better. The Technoratis job is to shill the new and shiny... they always have the cutting edge stuff, and they don't have to live with it once the new and shiny wears off...
Google is trying to protect their interests from Apple and Microsoft.
+David Geller I am perplexed by your strange way of reasoning. You mean that you KNOW already that the smart folks who built the greatest internet company on earth have suddenly lost their business sense so much that they would stop doing the things that brought them that success? And why would Google not use the Moto patent to protect their partners, as you contend, is it because they are brain dead concerning what has brought Android to become world number one mobile OS?

And on the side of the Android partners, unless you have been living under a rock lately, you would know that the only part of the phone business of these companies that is prospering for them is Android, so following your idea of business logic, why would they suddenly give up on a platform that is giving value to their shareholders and keeping them competitive against Apple? And Microsoft? Lest you've forgotten, some of those partners already build Windows mobile phones, and much good has it done them. So according to your business savvy 'logic', now that Google has bought Moto, all these companies should abandon the only platform that is really keeping them competitive in the mobile space and go for the turkeys in their portfolio, at a time MSFT has enterred into an EXCLUSIVE sweet heart deal with their Finnish colonial outpost? BRILLIANT INDEED!!!
Dont agree.. Google should be doing what they do best.. They have no experience with making phones or customer service.. You dont spend $12.5BILLION on a company and dont have any intension to change the company. Google will have to gut moto which are a very dysfunctional company & they will compete with other OEM's (HTC and Samsung)

In the long term Google will have to spend alot more money on this Project and their going in the wrong direction! They are becoming more like Microsoft the bigger they become.. Create scale and growth holistically, not just buy your way into a market..

Just a different point of view..
"...I imagine that Google will operate Motorola as an independent entity; it won't become Googley. Indeed, I can imagine Google spinning off the product arm, keeping the rat poison."

The purchase price is actually $7.5B net of cash & tax losses--and if they eventually sell it off to their partners--(sans patents + w/ licencing agreements, etc.)..they could end up getting the patents for free.

Google is inextricably linked to the mobile sector--I think this move acknowledges the fact..whether it's Googley or not..i don't know?..It's business though.
Motorola made it's name originally as a television manufacturer, didn't it?
So let's see... Google paid $12+ BILLION dollars to prop up a business that only generates them a small fraction of their revenue. While previously, Apple's $2+ BILLION share of the Nortel patent deal props up their business which generates them the vast majority of their revenue. And despite Google's majority grab of the mobile OS marketshare, Apple continues to do gangbusters with nearly $80 BILLION in the bank - all without having to make ANY major acquisitions. Google's envy of Apple continues, and their desperation shows, IMO. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Android exists and I love to see competition for Apple. But with over 2/3 of the Smartphone PROFIT share, Apple is still #WINNING.
+Chris Atim - everyone seems to believe their move was defensive. Since most of us are outsiders judging these events solely based upon what we have heard and read I can't proclaim that my opinion is vastly superior or more logical than that of others - but on the surface I stand by my words and suspect, over time, we will see problems develop between Google and their Android phone partners. Also, be careful not to confuse units sold or deployed with profit. HTC and Samsung are out to make money. While Android might represent the largest growing segment of their telephony business it may not be the most profitable or, if it is, remain that way. It's a tough business. Motorola has floundered in the mobile space since its zenith a few years ago. I can't imagine adding a Google management layer on top will improve their odds. This move was for Moto's patent portfolio. Google wins. Moto and their current Android competitors suffer.
Jeff i will be the first person to say that we need serious patent reform. But i think it is a bit much to say $18 billion has been wasted like that.

Nokia, Apple, and everyone else have patents in the mobile space that are completely valid and took time, money, and ingenuity to create. They should be compensated for that. If people don't want to licenses the patents then they should innovate so they don't have to.

Now we need to do patent reform and google should be actively working with everyone to propose something. This is the bigger issue. Why are more of these companies being more active in helping create a 21st century patent system?
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