Did Google flush $12.4 billion down the toilet with Motorola?

Motorola logoWhen Google said it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion, it was applauded as a bold move to shore up its patent position.

A year and a half and several legal setbacks later, many are wondering when -- and if -- Google will ever see a payoff.

The latest headache comes courtesy of the European Commission, which sent Motorola Mobility a formal list of complaints on Monday regarding how it uses its market position to seek and enforce a patent-related injunction against Apple.

Companies with a technology that's deemed by the industry as essential for all products have an obligation to license that intellectual property under what's known as "fair and reasonable" terms. The European Union is concerned that Motorola didn't give Apple a fair shake with that technology, made worse by Apple's claim that it has been willing to pay a royalty.

The warning letter, which potentially hamstrings how aggressive Motorola and Google can be in the courtroom, comes two weeks after a U.S. federal court judge ruled that Microsoft owed $1.8 million to Motorola for wireless and video codec patents -- a pittance relative to the $4 billion Motorola had originally sought.

The string of defeats has many becoming increasingly vocal about whether Google whiffed badly with its Motorola acquisition. Alongside the limited legal benefits Motorola has brought, the deal also caused a great deal of stress between its various vendor partners. While none admit it publicly, many felt put off by Google's purchase of Motorola and intent to keep running the handset business as a unit within the company.

Google has long maintained that Motorola runs independently of the Android program, but Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside reports directly to Google CEO Larry Page.

And what has that handset business brought? Little beyond continued losses that drag on Google's usually sterling financial results. In the first quarter, it lost $271 million, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for the red on Motorola's balance sheet.

Of course, the results are a speck on Google's broader performance. In April, it posted a first-quarter operating profit of $3.48 billion and said it had $50 billion in cash.

Google's only real positive move was to unload Motorola's home set-top box business for $2.3 billion, ridding itself of 7,000 employees and a series of patent lawsuits.

Motorola's handset business, meanwhile, has been in the midst of a transformation, and has yielded some solid, if unremarkable, phones. The continuation of the Razr brand has kept Motorola somewhat on the radar, but it has little else going for it right now.

Perhaps the rumored "X Phone" will give it something to crow about. But for now, Motorola is looking increasingly like a high-profile blunder by Google.

Source: CNET

Tags: Google, Motorola

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)