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Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition 311

Posted by Soulskill
from the of-all-the-recent-acquisitions-it-was-definitely-one-of-them dept.
bonch writes "Pundits have been analyzing Google's Motorola acquisition since its announcement. Dan Lyons, formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs, says Google never cared for the Nortel patents, and that they drove the bidding price up intentionally while negotiating to buy Motorola. This idea is questioned by MG Siegler, who believes buying Motorola for $12.5 billion — almost two years' worth of Google's annual profits — is an act of desperation. John Gruber notes that Motorola was threatening to wage a patent war against other Android partners during the time they would have been negotiating with Google, and that Motorola likely forced them into an expensive buyout rather than a patent license agreement. Google may have also been motivated by the fact that Microsoft was reportedly pursuing a Motorola buyout." S&P researchers apparently weren't a fan of the deal.
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Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition

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  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @08:21PM (#37113892)

    ...and not focusing on the huge footprint Motorola has in the cable set-top box market.

    Will consumers be watching videos on their computers, or surfing the Web on their TVs more in years to come? By buying the Motorola hardware, Google doesn't have to guess, their bets are hedged: They are ensured of continued revenue selling your surfing/viewing preferences to advertisers and the NSA no matter how the "connected TV" market shakes down.

  • by VisibleSchlong (2422274) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @08:24PM (#37113922)

    Let's just sum up just how hard Google outplayed Apple and Google with Motorola Mobility acquisition:

    * Feigned interest in the Nortel patent with joke bids

    * Apple and Microsoft fell for the bait and overpayed for Nortel's patents

    * Meanwhile Google is off negotiating with Motorola for the purchase of their mobile/settop box/IPTV division

    * Apple and Microsoft and their proxies are plastering the Net with justification for using patents as a weapon against the Android Juggernaut

    * Google drops the Motorola Mobility purchase bomb

    * Google now owns the largest mobile patent war chest with some 17,000 patents and and additional 7,500 pending

    * Apple and Microsoft have now made the case for Google to go after their each of their products without mercy with their newly acquired massive patent war chest

    An Epic Win for Google.

    Motorola Mobile has some 3 billion in cash, so the actual purchase price is around 9.5 billion for Google. The price per patent is an absolute steal compared to the money Apple and Microsoft were tricked into spending for the less valuable Nortel patents.

    And for a cherry on top of this epic win for Google, they get Motorola's set top box and IPTV products and capabilities as a bonus.

    You can tell just how major this win for Google is by just how desperate the spin from the Apple and Microsoft proxies in the press are pumping out.

  • Hardware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @08:24PM (#37113928)
    While patents are part of the deal, I can see a greater emphasis in Google branching out into hardware and making their own phones in a larger scale. Lets face it, hardware manufacturers and carriers ruin the Android experience in a lot of cases, by expanding into hardware, Google can do what Apple does and create hardware and software that "just works".
  • Re:Hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @08:43PM (#37114098)
    Because, lets be perfectly honest for a moment, there is no Android phone that comes to the simplicity and ease of use as an iPhone. Now, while I prefer Android to an iPhone, it is because of the interesting, geeky things you can do with Android that you can't do with an iPhone (emulators, other app stores, no need to use iTunes, can use an SD card and get as much memory as you want, better multitasking, etc.). But when it comes to ease of use, the iPhone has Android beat in every way.

    For example, if I'm trying to tell someone on an iPhone how to change settings, its pretty easy, hit the settings button, then go to X then go to Y then hit Z. With Android it is a mess, the settings that worked with 1.6 are different than with 2.2 and then what works on an HTC with sense is different than a phone running stock Android which is different than a Samsung with TouchWiz which is different than MotoBlur.

    Not to mention that depending on the carrier, updates either happen delayed or not at all. For example, the exact same internals of a phone running on T-Mobile might get updated in August, while the Sprint counterpart might skip that update, and the AT&T phone might get the update in October.

    All these silly things are keeping Android from being a serious competitor to the iPhone for a lot of people. Rather, Android is just an off-brand iPhone, for use until they can afford an iPhone or their carrier gets it. A mass-marketed Google phone could change that.
  • Re:Hardware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @08:53PM (#37114180) Homepage

    > Because, lets be perfectly honest for a moment, there
    > is no Android phone that comes to the simplicity and
    > ease of use as an iPhone.

    Nonsense.

    I bought an Android because it sensibly and robustly handles basic phone features. It also handles basic media with less nonsense. However, that's just an added bonus when compared to the fact that I don't have to "hack the phone" to deal with basic stuff that any Nokia handles better (than Apple).

    Android needs more developers on board and more apps. The core device is fine. Superior to Apple's product even in "non geeky" ways.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:04AM (#37115270) Journal

    If you were HTC or Samsung, how comfortable would you be in using the OS of your competitor?

    If you were Apple, how comfortable would you be using touchscreens, memory and other hardware from your competitor?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @02:09AM (#37115916)

    You do not "fein interest" in something by bidding a few billion dollars. What if they had won? Very obviously they meant to get that, or at least it was a serious attempt.

    Apple and Microsoft got a huge patent bundle for far less than Google, which they can now use to defend against Motorola patents Google has acquired, so in fact Apple and Microsoft (and other partners) have been shown to be eerily prescient in requiring said patents even IF this had been Google's plan all along.

    And speaking of "overpaying" - Motorola has been losing money. It's not like Google has ONLY paid 12 billion dollars, they have bought continuing obligations that will cost more. And in case you hadn't noticed, 12 billion is a HUGE sum, far more than Microsoft and Apple shelled out individually - how can you say in one breath that those companies overpaid when Google bought the same commodity (patents) for a far steeper price?

    I mean yes Google can use these patents against Apple/Microsoft but I question if the Motorola patent base has the same level of quality as what Microsoft/Apple had individually, never mind the Nortel stuff. Sure Google can go after them but all Google has really bought into is a very expensive draw, at best.

    Which points to the real reason Google purchased Motorola - they needed at least a draw, and were willing to pay ANY price to get it. Which they did, because even though the people at Motorola could no longer design phones they sure could suss out a desperate buyer and take advantage of that...

    In the end I question if it's a victory at all, for anyone. Because now Android HAS to start making Google some serious money in a way it did not before. Are you sure you wish to cheer the Android division becoming indebted to Google to the tune of 12 billion dollars and the subsequent changes that will occur as a result?

  • Re:He is right (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @02:12AM (#37115932) Homepage

    Shut up, moron! Microsoft astroturfers should be refuted and ridiculed in the most public manner possible.

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