Google has made its decision to acquire Motorola Mobility public this morning, announcing the acquisition worth $12.5 billion via The Official Google Blog (that’s $40 per share, 60% higher than the company’s closing price as of Friday):
Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.
This is obviously being looked at by most analysts as a move by Google to beef up their patent portfolio in the midst of the smartphone patent wars. It appears Google plans to continue running Motorola as a separate company, meaning the brand itself isn’t in jeopardy as of yet. However, this could easily be Google’s first step in the direction of gaining more control over the manufacturers that run Android. Even with Android making huge strides in recent months, Apple continues to dominate the smartphone market with their unique approach of building both hardware and software to compliment one another (at the same time as keeping the intellectual properties related to their products under one roof).
Google and Motorola will be holding a press conference at 8:30 ET. Grab the live webcast here. A snippet from the official press release below, if you’re interested. We’ll keep you posted as more info becomes available.
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.
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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.