In news that will came as nothing short of a shock, Google has announced it will be acquiring US smartphone maker and Android partner Motorola in a bid to take the fight directly to Apple.
The groundbreaking deal, worth around $12.5 billion (approx. £7.6 billion) at $40.00 per share (£24.51), will see Google claim a 63 per cent stake on Motorola Mobility, after an unanimous agreement in super secrecy was struck by the board of directors of both companies.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers.”
The unexpected manner of Google’s decision will doubtless puzzle a few, but the reasoning behind it might not. Motorola can be largely credited as the first company to make a breakthrough with Android with its Droid smartphone in the US and has been incredibly consistent in that market with a steady flow of solid handsets.
Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”
A game of two halves
Despite the takeover, Google added that Motorola would continue to operate as a separate entity as an Android licensee. Although, it does increase the likelihood that it may be chosen as the manufacturer of the third Nexus smartphone, or at the very least the fourth.
Android, meanwhile, will remain an open source platform and nothing will change as far as its availability to other manufacturers are concerned.
Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community.
“We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”
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