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Google sells Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion


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Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, giving the Chinese smartphone manufacturer a major presence in the US market. Lenovo will buy Motorola for $2.91 billion in a mixture of cash and stock. Google will retain ownership of the vast majority of Motorola's patents, while 2,000 patents and a license on the remaining patents will go to Lenovo. Lenovo will pay Google $660 million in cash, $750 million in stock, with the remaining $1.5 billion paid out over the next three years.

"Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola Mobility into a major player within the Android ecosystem," Google CEO Larry Page says in a statement. "This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere."
Google initially bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion back in 2012, but it said at the time that it was mainly interested in the company's patent portfolio. Now, Google is offloading its subsidiary's handset business, which has been losing hundreds of millions each quarter since the purchase. Google previously sold off Motorola's set-top box unit for over $2 billion.
Though patents are a large part of what drew Google's interest to Motorola in the first place, those patents haven't been as helpful as Google initially hoped. Google appears to have highly overvalued Motorola's portfolio, which hasn't been able to bring in nearly as much in royalties as either company seemingly expected.
Lenovo has been vocal about its intention to move into the US market this year. Though it hasn't actively pushed its own devices in the United States, it did make a bid for BlackBerry late last year. Though its offer was blocked, picking up Motorola's device unit could give it an even stronger start. It would mark Lenovo's second acquisition announcement this month: just last week it announce that it reached a deal to buy IBM's x86 server business.
Lenovo has experience in taking an established brand and building upon it. It purchased its ThinkPad business from IBM in 2005, and has gone on to create a continually successful line of laptops. Lenovo is likely hoping to do the same with Motorola, which has consistently built strong devices but has often struggled against competitors with more marketing muscle.
"The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones," Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing says in a statement. "We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space."
Both Lenovo and Google have high expectations for Motorola coming out of the acquisition. Motorola says the acquisition will help it to achieve the rapid growth it's looking for. "With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo’s hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this,” Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside says in a statement.
News of Lenovo's acquisition of Motorola comes just a day before Google reports its quarterly earnings. Investors have been interested to know what Google plans to do about Motorola's mounting losses. Tomorrow may not deliver them good news from the previous quarter, but it appears Google has given its final answer.
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The acquisition of Motorola by Google was never about making phones. It was always about the patents. Unlike Apple and MS, Google doesn't want to make hardware. They're happy being a services company. :yes:

So now that they've got their hands on their patents, they're bundling off the hardware making unit to Lenovo. This will do to Lenovo's global ambition exactly what the buying of IBM's PC making division did for them almost a decade ago. With slowing PC sales, Lenovo needed a presence in the global mobile industry beyond China and this opens the door for them big time. This is their chance to take Samsung head-on :)

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