Google is looking to sell the set-top box division of its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, and has allegedly enlisted the help of Barclays Plc.
According to Bloomberg, which cited “two people familiar with the situation,” Barclays will find buyers for the unit that could fetch up to $2 billion. The publication’s sources further noted sale talks are still in early stages.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, is shifting Motorola’s focus toward high-end smartphones as it competes with Apple Inc. (AAPL) This month Google announced it would cut 4,000 Motorola staff and close about a third of its 90 facilities as part of a plan to restore the hardware firm’s leadership in the mobile market. Google completed the $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility in May in its biggest takeover.
Light Reading Cable reported on Aug. 6 that Google was considering a sale of the Home Business unit. Motorola tried to sell the unit in 2009 for more than $4 billion, people close to the situation said at the time.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility, which notably produces mobile devices running the Android OS, earlier this year. The deal garnered the Mountain View, Calif.-based company more than 17,000 patents. Due to the merger, Google will likely enter the profitable hardware-making realm of the smartphone industry. Moreover, many have subsequently wondered if its Smart TV platform could also get a boost.
Google TV combines Android and the Linux version of Google Chrome bowser to create an Internet television overlay, and Intel, Sony, and Logitech co-develop the two-year-old division, with the two latter companies manufacturing devices. With that said, by selling the set-top box division of Motorola Mobility, Google could miss a just-as-profitable opportunity to independently manufacture and integrate Google TV.
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