Google’s $12.5 B Motorola Mobility bid finally a done deal

It’s official: Google is now a hardware company.

Google said Tuesday morning thatit has closed the deal to acquireMotorola Mobility for $12.5billion.

Sanjay Jha is stepping down from his post as CEO of Motorola Mobility;Dennis Woodside, a senior vice president with Google, will take overthe CEO post for the newly acquired company.

“I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade, and he’s been phenomenal atbuilding teams and delivering on some of Google’s biggest bets,” GoogleCEO Larry Page said in a blogpost. “Recently, he helped increase our revenue in the U.S.from $10.8 billion to $17.5 billion in under three years as Presidentof the Americas region.”

As recently as March, the deal was slowed to a crawl when the Chinesegovernment expanded its investigation of the purchase. China finallycleared the deal this past weekend.

Google had received approval for the deal fromboth the U.S. Departmentof Justice and the European Commission in February. The purchase alsowas approved by officials in Israel and Taiwan, leaving China as thelast holdout.

The purchase will help Google defend itself against various patentinfringement lawsuits over the Android operating system,since Motorolahas one of the smartphone industry’s largest patent libraries.

Page also hailed the purchase as something that will allow Google togain a bigger foothold in the mobile market.

Google’s enterprise push
“It’s a well-known fact that people tend to overestimate the impacttechnology will have in the short term, but underestimate itssignificance in the longer term,” he wrote. “Many users coming onlinetoday may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of thattransition will be profound, as will the ability to just tap and paywith your phone. That’s why it’s a great time to be in themobilebusiness.”

Industry analysts also think the acquisition could help Google pushinto the corporate enterprise.

A Google phone running Android could be very marketable not only toconsumers but to IT departments that need to outfit workers with mobiledevices. Basically, owning both the handset hardware and the operatingsystem could be a powerful combination that could drive Androidadoption.

Google has been working to expand its business into other hardwareventures. With Motorola, Google may be better able to push its way intothe home entertainment market with its Google TV platform. In additionto being a world-renowned smartphone maker, Motorola also is a majorplayer in the home set-top box sector.

Sharon Gaudin covers theInternet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies,and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon onTwitter at @sgaudin,on Google+or subscribe to Sharon’sRSS feed. Heremail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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