Google finally seals Motorola $12.5 billion deal
The two companies confirm takeover bid has closed after regulatory approvals
After nearly ten months of legal reviews, Internet search giant Google has said it has officially acquired handset maker Motorola Mobility in a $12.5 billion deal. Google now owns Motorola Mobility.
The two companies announced that Google's $12.5 billion takeover bid closed, only barely days after the Chinese government, which had been holding up the purchase for weeks, granted its blessing last week.
"Motorola is a great American technology 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," Larry Page, Google's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. "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."
And, of course, Google hopes Motorola will be even more valuable as an acquisition. Page also announced that Google veteran Dennis Woodside is taking over as the phone and tablet maker's chief executive, replacing Motorola's Sanjay Jha. Woodside, who oversaw Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, is a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, and has been with Google since 2003.
"I've known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he's been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google's biggest bets," Page said. "One of his first jobs at Google was to put on his backpack and build our businesses across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. More recently he 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."
Jha has officially stepped down, but will be assisting in the transition of Woodside as chief executive, Google said.
"Our aim is simple: to focus Motorola Mobility's remarkable talent on fewer, bigger bets, and create wonderful devices that are used by people around the world," Woodside said in a statement.
Woodside has already assembled his executive team, "including Regina Dugan (former Director of DARPA), Mark Randall (former supply chain VP at Amazon and previously at Nokia), Vanessa Wittman (former CFO of Marsh & McLennan), Scott Sullivan (former head of HR at Visa and NVIDIA), and Gary Briggs (former Google VP of Consumer Marketing)," Motorola Mobility said.
The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Bureau approved Google's bid to buy Motorola Mobility, following approvals from regulators in the U.S. and Europe, with the stipulation that Google agree to keep its Android mobile operating system free to hardware makers (and anyone else who wants to use it) for the next five years.
Google, which has made Android available at no cost and open-sourced since its debut in 2007, agreed to the terms and reiterated that Android will remain an open operating system.
Google hasn't said much of what it plans to do with Motorola Mobility, other than stating that Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and continue to run as a separate business. But speculation as to what Motorola's future looks like has fairly been widespread with some pointing to Motorola as one of multiple Nexus phone partners, to the company being used as patent-troll repellant, and significant layoffs.