Google deal to buy Motorola Mobility in $12.5bn deal finalised
GOOGLE’S deal to buy Motorola Mobility has closed, the company has announced on its blog.
Google won approval from Chinese regulators for its $12.5bn (€9.7m) purchase of Motorola Mobility earlier this week, and Google co-founder Larry Page confirmed in a blog post that the deal has now closed.
A raft of personnel changes have also been announced, with current chief executive Sanjay Jha standing down in favour of "longtime Google Dennis Woodside".
Page said "Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone. We all remember Motorola’s StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. And as a company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google."
Woodside developed Google's businesses in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia, and Page said he recently "helped increase our revenue in the U.S. from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as President of the Americas region".
Page emphasised the future impact of mobile technology. "It’s a well known fact that people tend to overestimate the impact technology will have in the short term, but underestimate its significance in the longer term. Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of that transition will be profound - as will the ability to just tap and pay with your phone."
The deal helps Larry Page, the Google co-founder who took over as chief executive officer last year, push the web company to better compete with Apple’s iPhone and gain more clout for its Android software as it expands in the hardware business.
It also gives Google, the worlds’ biggest maker of smartphone software, a trove of 17,000 patents to protect Android devices in legal disputes with competitors.
The acquisition, announced last year, had already received approvals in Europe, the US and other jurisdictions worldwide.Motorola Mobility had said in a regulatory filing in February that only Chinese clearance was still required.
“Our stance since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed and we look forward to closing the deal,” Google said. The company also confirmed it had received word from Chinese authorities of the purchase being approved.
With the acquisition - the largest wireless-equipment deal in at least a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg - Google becomes a competitor to the other handset makers that make Android devices. In addition to Motorola Mobility phones, the software is used in handsets made by companies such as Samsung and HTC.
As part of the approval, Google needs to ensure that Android software versions are free and open over the next five years, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.
Google will report to an independent monitor in China on its efforts to comply with terms of the deal approval, according to the website.