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August 17, 2011

Microsoft News - Microsoft Was Interested in Motorola Mobility Too: News Report

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

It was big news this week when Google (News - Alert) announced it reached a deal to buy Motorola Mobility. But the $12.5 billion deal may never have come to pass if it were not for interest from Microsoft (News - Alert).

Motorola Mobility, was in talks with several other interested parties, including Microsoft, Om Malik reported on Gigaom. The talks were going on for a lengthy period of time, he said.

Google outbid its rivals by offering more than a 60 percent premium, and because Microsoft did not want Motorola (News - Alert)  Mobility’s hardware business, says Gigaom.

Microsoft wanted Motorola Mobility’s sought-after and numerous patents. The patents, in Microsoft’s hands, could have hurt Google’s Android (News - Alert) operating system, Forbes explained.

Google was then under pressure to negotiate further and the events led to the deal. Talks between Google and Motorola were started some five weeks ago, Gigaom said.

“The deal it struck gives it access to Motorola Mobility’s strong portfolio of 17,000 current patents and 7,500 patent applications across wireless standards and non-essential patents on wireless service delivery,” Gigaom added.

TMCnet said that since November 2007, when it was launched, the Android OS is in 150 million devices, with more than 550,000 devices added each day.

Motorola Mobility Holdings includes mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices.

The Google-Motorola Mobility deal is subject to closing conditions, such as regulatory approvals in the United States, the European Union and other locations, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012, according to media reports.

In addition, Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $40 a share, a premium of 63 percent to the closing price of company shares on August 12, 2011. The deal was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, according to a Google company statement.

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Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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