Google made huge waves this morning with its news to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 million, which is over sixty percent above its current stock price. The move, while surprising, makes a ton of sense for Google, especially in its battle to keep Android from being taken over by other smartphone platforms like iOS and Windows Phone.
“Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners, and developers…which will enable us to better protect Android from anticompetitive threats from Microsoft, Apple, and other companies.” – Larry Page, Google CEO
The purchase give Google more hardware expertise, gives them control over one of Androids partners and most importantly provides them a large patent portfolio with which to fight both Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft and Apple Inc. have been creating huge problems for Android partners lately by forcing companies like HTC to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every Android handset sold for patent violations. This discourages current and future manufacturers from making Android devices and might encourage some to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon where it is relatively safe.
Android has been on fire lately and commands close to half of the smartphone market, so this move was necessary to secure some of the patents it needs to continue doing battle with their competitors. The mobile market is a fierce battlefield and patents are just one of the major fronts, so we shall see how Microsoft and Apple respond now that Google has Motorola’s patents in its fold.