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Lenovo to purchase Motorola assets from Google for $3 billion [u]

updated 04:32 pm EST, Wed January 29, 2014

Latest sale less than 25 percent of Google's purchase price in 2012

[Update: Deal confirmed] According to a statement by Google CEO Larry Page, Google and Lenovo have negotiated a deal that will see the search engine sell its Motorola Mobility smartphone business to the Chinese manufacturer. The deal is valued at $2.91 billion dollars, with Google retaining most of the patents it acquired when it purchased the division in 2012.

Google CEO Larry Page said of the deal that "this move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere," noting that Lenovo has both the manufacturing capability and distribution network to grow Android as a product. Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio. When acquired by Google, Motorola mobility had 12,500 patents, with another 7,500 pending.

Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, including its entire patent portfolio and attendant legal battles, two and a half years ago. Sources claim that Google has been looking to unload the troubled division with falling income, but was forced to retain it to avoid taking a massive tax hit.

Motorola Mobility's Advanced Technology group will be retained by Google, and integrated into its Android development group. Notably, all the patents developed by the group are staying with the search engine, with Lenovo taking a license for them for future use.

Motorola Mobility has been hemorrhaging the search engine's profits since Google's acquisition. While the Google quarterly report isn't until January 30, it is expected that the Motorola Mobility division will continue to be a drag on the company overall. The deal is subject to customary regulatory approval, and will likely not be approved for some time.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeff75

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 09-15-00

    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

    Isn't that about a $10 billion loss for Google, plus the huge losses Google endured quarter after quarter?

    Google's a great advertising company, it's great at selling your information to the anyone who wants it, but not so good at making hardware at a profit.

    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Well, buy a company for $12.5B, lose between $200M and $500M per quarter for two and a half years, then sell it for $3B and keep a few patents.

    Yeah, that was a good investment.

    I wonder what the cost-per-patent for the ones they ended up keeping works out to when you total it up? Also wonder if Lenovo can manage to save Motorola.

  1. zunipus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-14-07

    Stunning! Stupid Google.

    Clue: Never diversify your business into any field that is NOT part of your expertise. Throwing money at barely tangible side interests very rarely works. Google is NOT and will never be a viable cell phone company. It's amazing they ever thought they could be.

    However, I have to hand it to Google for figuring out their grand blunder in a remarkably quick period of time. I also have to consider them lucky to have someone to unload this albatross from their warehouse of crap. I suspect they've learned a business lesson here. But we'll see. Next on the list for deletion: Chromebooks. What a joke.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-06-01

    and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Apple does not play the large acquisition game.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-06-01

    those patents were not worth $9B. They are standards-essential patents and must be licensed on FRAND terms which are not all that profitable. Exactly zero enforceable patent injunctions worldwide. They bought a pig in a poke.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99

    1. Buy company for $12B
    2. Sell company for $3B
    3. ???
    4. Profit!

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 05-08-01

    This doesn't make me bullish on the acquisition of Nest.

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