Motorola Mobility shareholders approve Google merger

Motorola Mobility and Google first announced plans to merge the two companies back in August for a cool $12.5 billion. That's a lot of money no matter how you look at it. Today Motorola Mobility revealed that during a special shareholders meeting, owners of the company's stock voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger deal with Google.

That means that the two companies are now one step closer to making their merger dream come true. Google currently expects that the deal will close sometime in early 2012. Motorola already makes a number of smartphones, along with the Xoom tablets, with Google's Android operating system but Google has already claimed that it will treat Motorola Mobility as a third party smartphone maker rather than a regular subsidiary.

The big question is whether or not we will see other companies try to complain about this move to Google. It's possible that other Android smartphone makers like HTC, Samsung, and others might not be keen on the idea that Motorola will soon be a part of the company that actually developed the Android OS.

While Google may say publicly that Motorola will be treated as a separate company after the merger is complete, that may not be enough for other smartphone makers who may believe that Motorola will have some kind of upper hand when it comes to future Android devices.

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7 Comments

It wouldn't be in Google's best interests to give Motorola Mobility special treatment vs the competition (HTC, Samsung, etc).

If they did the competition would either:
(a) cry foul to the government, who'll slap Google with the almighty backhand of anti-competitive practice, which will tarnish their reputation irrepairably
(b) Jump ship to Windows Phone, Meego or any other OS, and leave Android to rot, causing a significant loss of revenue for Google, and eventually the loss of Android as an OS altogether when everyone picks another OS.

What Google WILL do (probably), is use the MM patent cache to fight off Apple's and Microsoft's bullying tactics towards the manufacturers of Android devices, and end the litigation madness that has become the portable device market.

Since when did Google say they were giving Motorola Mobility special treatment? In fact, Google has several times repeated they are not giving them special treatment. We all know that this thing was all about patents. It's the world we live in now.

I think what Google did was extremely clever. They bought patents for "market price" and got a mobile company thrown in for free. http://www.economist.com/blogs...age/2011/08/valuing-patents

WhatWarning said,
Since when did Google say they were giving Motorola Mobility special treatment? In fact, Google has several times repeated they are not giving them special treatment.

You're absolutely correct, but that's why HTC and the like are nervous. They're now using software that is developed by a direct competitor now, and if Google decides (at a later date) that they're going to pull the rug from under the competition by doing something "evil" with Android, the 3rd party device manufacturers are screwed. That's why they're probably nervous, not because of what Google have said they're doing, but the potential for what they could do now that they're making the hardware as well as the software.

Majesticmerc said,

You're absolutely correct, but that's why HTC and the like are nervous. They're now using software that is developed by a direct competitor now, and if Google decides (at a later date) that they're going to pull the rug from under the competition by doing something "evil" with Android, the 3rd party device manufacturers are screwed. That's why they're probably nervous, not because of what Google have said they're doing, but the potential for what they could do now that they're making the hardware as well as the software.

I haven't read that HTC, Samsung, Dell were nervous when Nokia got the special treatment from Microsoft for manufacturing WP7. They shouldn't be nervous now.

alexalex said,

I haven't read that HTC, Samsung, Dell were nervous when Nokia got the special treatment from Microsoft for manufacturing WP7. They shouldn't be nervous now.

That was the point of my OP

Majesticmerc said,

They're now using software that is developed by a direct competitor now, and if Google decides (at a later date) that they're going to pull the rug from under the competition by doing something "evil" with Android, the 3rd party device manufacturers are screwed. That's why they're probably nervous, not because of what Google have said they're doing, but the potential for what they could do now that they're making the hardware as well as the software.

First, HTC has always used these frameworks on their devices. They want to distinguish themselves from the rest. But I see what you are saying. But here is the beauty of what Google did. They paid for patents at "market value" and got a mobile phone company for free. That company also does set top boxes for cable providers. Google TV anyone?

Now let's say Windows Phone takes off (their competition) and the manufacturers focus more on WP instead of Android (their current practice) or Apple starts regaining market share. Both systems are closed off.

Google can now close off their system and have one manufacturer develop phones. It's a contingency plan I see them using if Android started declining rapidly.

Otherwise, I see Google using Motorola Mobility to expand their Google TV development into more homes next year. They will not interfere with tablets or phones as they have a great relationship with their manufacturers.

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