Sunday, May 26, 2019

Google buys Motorola Mobility – jeopardizes relationships with manufacturing partners

In a defensive move against its smartphone rival Apple, Google has agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash – its biggest deal to date This gives Google access to Motorola’s k+ in patents, however you have to wonder how Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG Electronics feel about this move. Although they are saying the right thing now, this could put a serious wrench into Google’s other android partners and could present some significant anti-trust problems for Google.

For now Larry Page says, “This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.”

But if you look long term and Google prices Motorola products to compete with Apple, say a $299.00 Xoom tablet, what does this do to the other partners. This is one reason why Apple does not license its technology and Microsoft does not manufacture. To do both opens you up to some serious anti-trust problems.

The deal has been approved by Google and Motorola Mobility’s boards of directors, but is still subject to regulatory approval. In today’s lax regulatory environment it will probably be approved, although if regulators look ahead a little it may face an uphill battle and should.


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