Did Google Overpay for Motorola?
August 3, 2012
Though Google cited patent collection as a primary motivation for acquiring Motorola, The Wall Street Journal now tells us, “Google Says Patents, Tech Were Less Than Half Motorola’s Price.” In a recent regulatory filing, the company revealed that $5.5 billion of the $12.4 billion investment covered ‘patents and developed technology.” Nevertheless, I suspect the company is pleased with its purchase; as writer John Letzing notes:
“Google has sought to bulk up on patents as a protective measure, as a number of its technology rivals have targeted both the company and its Android software with litigation.
“Oracle sued Google for alleged patent and copyright infringement by Android in 2010, though a related trial earlier this year resulted in a victory for Google.”
Yes, the protection a trove of patents can provide is a valuable thing, valuable enough to put up with a lot. The article also reveals:
“Google reported second-quarter earnings that included Motorola results from a portion of the period. Google said Motorola contributed some $1.25 billion in revenue, though the new unit also posted a $233 million operating loss.”
Eh, the patents and an operating loss of $233 million are but peanuts to Google. All in the cost of doing its globe-dominating business.
Cynthia Murrell, August 3, 2012