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Google Says It Won China's Approval For Motorola Deal

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, May 20, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google says it won China's approval for Motorola deal, IBN Live News (click for full article)

    "REUTERS - Google said on Saturday that Chinese authorities have approved its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings , the last regulatory hurdle to a deal that would allow the worlds No. 1 Internet search engine to develop its own line of smart phones.


    Google, which will be the newest entrant to the handset market, announced plans for the acquisition last year in a bid to secure Motorolas valuable patents and pave the way for a pai ring of Googles Android mobile software and Motorolas handset business. U.S. and European regulators approved the deal in February, leaving only the Chinese regulators as potential spoilers.


    'Our stance since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed, and we look forward to closing the deal,' Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said, confirming that the Chinese had approved the deal.


    Google, whose Android software is the top operating system for Internet-enabled smart phones, wants phone-maker Motorola for its 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, as it looks to compete with rivals such as Apple Inc. and defend itself and Android phone manufacturers in patent litigation.


    A main condition of the deal is that the Android system remain free and open for five years, said a source who is familiar with the Chinese approval but not authorized to discuss it. 'We are pleased that the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions and we expect to close early next week,' Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said. (Reporting By Kyle Peterson; Editing by Paul Simao)"
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    China finally gives blessing to Google's Motorola buy — Tech News and Analysis (click for full article)

    "Google has finally received approval from China to complete its purchase of Motorola Mobility, Google said Saturday. That paves the way for Google to integrate Motorola, though it remains to be seen exactly how it wants to use the phone maker. The deal is expected to close in the next week.


    Google made huge waves when it announced it was buying Motorola for $12.5 billion last August. After getting the U.S. Justice Department and EU approval in February, the process ground to a crawl as China took its time weighing in on the acquisition. Now, all eyes will be on how Google proceeds with its biggest purchase ever.


    Android manufacturers have been nervous about Google giving Motorola an advantage. But Google may be taking some steps to try and allay those fears. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was preparing to work with multiple manufacturers to launch the next version of Android, instead of picking one device maker. The report also said that Google would sell the devices directly through its Web site and through some unnamed retail partners. That would allow Google to take more control of the Android experience, something my colleague Kevin Tofel has urged Google to do.


    While Google has been a leader with its Android smartphones, its operating system has not had as much success on tablets. The Motorola pick-up could be critical in helping improve that situation for Google, which is losing out on revenue on tablets because of the popularity of the iPad and Kindle Fire, which don't provide as much direct revenue to Google.


    Google still faces a big challenge in incorporating Motorola, while still keeping its other Android partners happy. And it has also got to show that the acquisition makes sense from a financial stand point. Motorola has struggled like many other Android makers in the face of Samsung, the leading Android manufacturer. At the very least, Google gets more than 17,000 patents, which should provide some more protection in the smartphone patent wars. "
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google acquires Motorola Mobility, rolls the dice with Android | ExtremeTech (click for full article)

    "Some 9 months after Google's announcement that it would rather like to make a subsidiary of Motorola Mobility, the $12.5-billion acquisition has finally been approved by the US, EU, and China. All eyes are now on Google to see what it will do with a bunch of software platforms under its belt - Android, Chrome OS, and Google TV - and its new-found top-notch hardware division.


    Outwardly, we are promised, except for a new CEO - Dennis Woodside, former president of Google's Americas operation, replaces long-time Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha - very little will change. The last 9 months have basically seen Google promising Android partners such as HTC and Samsung that Motorola Mobility will not get preferential treatment when it comes to future versions of Android or Nexus devices. The Chinese regulators even went as far as saying that they would only approve the acquisition if Google keeps Android free for other device makers for at least five years.


    Beyond that, though, is for Google's execs to know, and for us to find out. Officially, all we have to go on is a mysterious line in the acquisition press release that says Motorola will "enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing." In reality, there are two equally likely (but diametrically opposed) paths that Google could take. It is possible that Google simply wanted Motorola Mobility's 24,500-strong mobile device patent portfolio to protect Android from further patent litigation. In this case, Motorola Mobility will continue to function exactly as before, but with new leadership. There are rumors floating around that Google will proceed to lay off a large number of Motorola employees, which would reinforce this speculation.


    The other option is that Google will begin producing its own line of Android, Chrome OS, and Google TV devices. In this case, Google would effectively begin a transformation into a company that resembles Apple - but with Search under its belt, it might even have the edge on Apple. The main problem with this, though - putting aside Chrome OS and Google TV for the moment - is that Android devices are commodities. For Googola to compete with Samsung and other device makers, it would need to somehow differentiate itself. Selling "vanilla" devices won't be enough, and I can't see Google developing a custom skin, a la TouchWiz or Sense.


    If Google does go the hardware route, I suspect it will fork Android - perhaps to create a commercial, non-free version that flawlessly integrates with Chrome OS, and other devices such as Android@Home and Google Glasses. Forking the codebase wouldn't violate the Chinese stipulation that Android remains free for five years - but even so, is it really the best thing for the Android ecosystem as a whole?"
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    What Google can do with Motorola | Mobile - CNET News (click for full article)

    "All eyes will be on Google, as it takes a sudden plunge into the hardware business, courtesy of Motorola.


    The $12.5 billion deal, which closed today, netted Google a healthy stockpile of patents for legal defense and offense, along with a historic technology brand and a multibillion-dollar handset and TV set-top box business.


    It's pretty obvious what Google will do with the patents, given the increasingly litigious environment in which the technology world finds itself. Motorola's last few years of losses also bring a clear tax benefit to Google in the near term. But what is less clear is just how the company will proceed with the actual business of Motorola.


    "There are so many different things they can do, and I don't think Google quite knows yet," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner.
    Google and Motorola declined to make an executive available to comment on their plans.


    Well, that's where CNET comes in. The following are some of the options available to Google, as well as their likelihood and implications."
     
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google completes Motorola deal, heralding new era - WNEM TV 5 (click for full article)

    By MICHAEL LIEDTKE
    AP Technology Writer


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google has completed its $12.5 billion purchase of device maker Motorola Mobility in a deal that poses new challenges for the Internet's most powerful company as it tries to shape the future of mobile computing.


    The deal closed Tuesday, nine months after Google Inc. made a surprise announcement that it wanted to expand into the hardware business with the most expensive and riskiest acquisition in its 14-year history. The purchase pushes Google deeper into the cellphone business, a market it entered four years ago with the debut of its Android software, now the chief challenger to Apple Inc.'s iPhones.


    In Motorola, Google gets a cellphone pioneer that has struggled in recent years. Motorola hasn't produced a mass-market hit since it introduced the Razr cellphone in 2005. Once the No. 2 cellphone maker, Motorola now ranks eighth with 2 percent of the worldwide market share, according to Gartner.


    As had been expected, Google CEO Larry Page immediately named one of his top lieutenants, Dennis Woodside, as Motorola's CEO. He replaces Sanjay Jha, 49, who will stay on just long enough to assist in the ownership change.


    Woodside, 43, has spent the past three years immersed in online advertising as president of Google's America region, which accounted for $17.5 billion of Google's revenue last year. Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. booked $13.1 billion in revenue during its final year as an independent company.


    Nevertheless, Woodside's background in online advertising is likely to raise questions about whether he is the best choice to oversee a company that specializes in making smartphones, tablet computers and cable-TV boxes.


    "It's a bit concerning because online advertising is quite different than the hardware business," Gartner Inc. analyst Carolina Milanesi said. "Google is so focused on advertising that it doesn't consider that kind of thing."


    Google depends on digital ads for 96 percent of its revenue, which totaled $38 billion last year.


    In a statement, Page praised Woodside as an outstanding leader who has "been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google's biggest bets."


    The takeover became possible only after government regulators were satisfied that the acquisition wouldn't stifle competition in the smartphone market. China removed the final regulatory hurdle by granting its approval Saturday. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe had cleared the deal three months ago.


    Google wants Motorola largely for its trove of 17,000 cellphone patents, which the search company can use to defend Android phones against lawsuits accusing them of copying key features from the iPhone.


    But in recent months, Google has been signaling that it has been drawing up more ambitious plans for the newly acquired hardware business.


    Macquarie Securities analyst Benjamin Schachter believes Google is particularly interested in developing a snazzier tablet computer powered by its Android software to compete against Apple's hot-selling iPad and Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire.


    Owning a handset and tablet manufacturer will also allow Google to exert more control over how Android runs on the devices. That has been difficult for Google to do because it gives away Android to other hardware manufacturers, which can tweak the software to suit their own agenda.


    In moving beyond its expertise in search and software into manufacturing a wide range of equipment, Google will test its ability to keep Android partners, shareholders and employees happy.


    Google will have to reassure its Android partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. that Motorola's devices won't get souped-up versions of the software or receive other preferential treatment.


    If it appears Google is favoring Motorola, manufacturers might consider building their own mobile operating system or defect to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software, which is getting a major facelift this year.


    "This gives Google a chance to develop and showcase a 'next generation' device for mobile computing," said N. Venkat Venkatraman, a Boston University professor specializing in technology and management. "But it could also create a complex issue for Google. How do you balance the desire to create something that consumers love without upsetting the rest of the Android ecosystem?"


    Milanesi suspects Google might also try to design a Motorola smartphone that caters to the needs of companies and government agencies.


    "Like almost everything Google does, I think they will try a lot of different things and then do whatever is best for them," Milanesi said.


    Signaling its intention to experiment, Google said it has created an "advanced technology and projects group" at Motorola. It will be run by Regina Dugan, a former director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which specializes in coming up with national security innovations. DARPA was how the Internet got its start more than four decades ago.


    In a statement Tuesday, Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said the plan under Google's ownership is to make "fewer, but bigger launches." She said Woodside wasn't available for an interview.


    Motorola's cable-TV boxes could provide Google with a springboard for delivering more of its services, including advertising, to living rooms. However, cable companies control the market for set-top boxes, and they resist any intrusion into their realm.


    Google also will likely have to do some hand-holding with investors who have been worried about Motorola's troubles eroding Google's hefty profit margins.


    "If it looks like Motorola is just a lab or toy for Google, investors are going to be asking themselves whether the company is spreading itself too thin," Venkatraman said.


    As its line of smartphones has waned in popularity, Motorola has suffered losses totaling $1.7 billion during the past three years. Google has earned $25 billion over the same stretch.


    Page already has decided to operate Motorola separately partly because of the contrasting fortunes of the two companies. That will make it easier for investors to track how the different lines of business are faring. For now, Motorola will continue to have its headquarters in Libertyville, Ill., far from Google's Silicon Valley home in Mountain View, Calif.


    Google shares fell $13.17 or more than 2 percent, to close Tuesday at $600.94.


    Turning around Motorola will likely require layoffs, a painful process that belies Google's carefully cultivated image as a cuddly employer.


    Google laid off about 300 people in 2008 after it paid $3.2 billion to acquire online advertising service DoubleClick Inc., which was previously the biggest deal in the company's history. The cutbacks represented about one-quarter of the workforce that Google inherited from DoubleClick. If Google imposes a similar reduction on Motorola's 20,500-employee payroll, it would translate into about 5,000 layoffs.


    Taking on so many new employees also raises the risk of cultural clashes with the 33,000 people already working at Google.


    Motorola Mobility is one half of the old Motorola Inc. It split at the beginning of last year. The other half, Motorola Solutions Inc., is still independent. It sells police radios, barcode scanners and other products aimed at government and corporate customers.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It's Official: Google Is Now a Hardware Company - Businessweek (click for full article)

    "Last August, Google (GOOG) Chief Executive Officer Larry Page fulfilled a pledge made to one of his senior executives, a square-jawed former attorney named Dennis Woodside. Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook had been trying to poach Woodside to make him Apple's head of sales; Google had persuaded him to stay, in part by promising him a bigger job, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, but who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. Now it was time to make good.


    Woodside says he was speaking with board member K. Ram Shriram when Page asked him to run Motorola Mobility, the company Google had just announced it was acquiring for $12.5 billion. "He said, 'I know you've been looking for a challenge,' " Woodside recalls. " 'I want you to run Motorola. I think you'd be great at it. Can you let me know by tonight?' "


    Woodside agreed and is now the leader of one of the most storied names in technology. Motorola, founded 84 years ago, invented the cell phone in the 1980s, made it ubiquitous in the '90s with the StarTAC, and with the RAZR ushered in the era of stylish devices. Then it lost its way in the age of the iPhone.


    When Google first came calling, it was mostly interested in getting Motorola's trove of 17,000-plus patents to help defend the Android operating system against lawsuits by Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Apple, and others. Woodside's mission has since become more ambitious. Woodside says Google also plans to use its new hardware division to produce smartphones and tablets that set the pace of innovation in the mobile business. "This is a huge opportunity to really show what Android can do in a well-designed, well-packaged, and well-marketed product," he says.


    It's also a huge gamble, certainly the biggest since Page retook the title of CEO at Google a year ago. The company became a household name-and one of the most profitable businesses ever-by sticking to online services and software. Now it will have to figure out the cutthroat, low-margin world of hardware. That means production lines, supply chains, and 1-800 customer help numbers. (Try finding one of those for Gmail or YouTube.)


    The deal could even slow the remarkable rise of Android. One reason Google's mobile operating system powers more than half the world's smartphones is device makers such as Samsung and HTC have felt safe licensing it. Until now, Google was a beneficent software provider with no dog in the hardware hunt. If Woodside does his job well and makes Motorola's phones superior, Android's other device makers might look elsewhere for an OS.


    Woodside vows there will be a "firewall" inside Google and that he will not ask for or receive special treatment from Andy Rubin, who runs Google's Android division. "
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2012

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