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It’s official: Google finally seals Motorola Mobility takeover

by Marty Gabel

According to a blog post by CEO Larry Page on Google’s site today, the search giant has finally closed the deal and acquired Motorola Mobility.

“I’m excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed,” he writes. “Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone.”

It was last August when Google announced the takeover bid for a cool $12.5 billion, and it was clear the deal was as much about securing Motorola’s thousands of cellular- and electronics-related patents as it was about Google wanting to get into the hardware manufacturing business. In fact, Google has been making it very clear that it plans to work “on an equal basis” with other device makers, claiming that it doesn’t make sense for Android to be available only to a single OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Regulators in China only approved the deal on May 19, but insisted Google promise that Android will remain open and free for the next five years.

Today’s blog posting however, clearly states that “Dennis [Woodside] and the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.” Woodside is an ex Googler who will be heading up the Motorola Mobility hardware division as CEO.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Google will keep Motorola’s iconic “M” logo and Woodside and friends will be aiming to get the hardware manufacturer profitable. It will use Google’s ample engineering and software resources to improve things like battery life and digital photography in future devices. How this all will affect employees of Motorola however, is not yet known. TechCrunch reported yesterday that layoffs are likely. When Google first announced its acquisition, Motorola Mobility had 19,000 employees, and the struggling vendor has already laid off 800 employees as part of a restructuring plan. It looks like the company may be forced to go through another round of job cuts soon.

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