Jan 31, 2014 10:39 AM EST
After a couple days of speculation, Google has officially confirmed that it is selling its Motorola subsidiary to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in a mostly cash transaction. The deal sees Google retain in large part Motorola’s patent portfolio, while Lenovo gets ownership of the company’s brand and trademarks, as well as its devices, including the Moto X and Moto G.
Google cites Lenovo’s position as one of the world’s preeminent smartphone manufacturers as a principle reason for the sale, arguing that the company can do more with the Motorola brand than Google can.
Although Mountain View will retain much of the intellectual property that it acquired when it purchased Motorola back in 2012, the sale still represent a fairly massive loss for Google, which paid $12.5 billion for the company only two years ago.
“We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company,” wrote Google CEO Larry Page in a blog post. “They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.”
It’s unclear how Google will handle the manufacturing of future devices, but the most likely scenario is that it will continue working jointly with companies like LG and Samsung to produce new Android smartphones and tablets.
“The smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere,” Page said.
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