Google got some very good news last week. According to various media reports, the US Justice department & European Commission have concluded their Motorola acquisition investigation. I guess the question is; why have things gone so smoothly? Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms of licensing seems to have clinched it for Google. I suspect that lobbyists were used by Google to communicate these FRAND terms to the legislative powers.
When the acquisition was initially made public I thought that there might be some opposition to it. Why? Well, the other cellphone manufacturers are suddenly competing against a very powerful company which potentially might give their own company an advantage. Secondly, I suspect European and US lawmakers will put provisions in this ruling to ensure that fair use of Motorola’s patents occurs.
Keep in mind that Larry Page, Google’s CEO will have to face his shareholders over this acquisition. Motorola Mobility was a sinking ship prior to Google swooping in to acquire them. According to multiple reports, the feeling was that Google overpaid for Motorola Mobility. There is an immense amount of pressure on Google to ensure that Motorola becomes a success otherwise Page will forever be the CEO who made a $12.5 Billion mistake. Keep in mind this was one of the first major announcements that Larry Page made after taking over from Eric Schmidt. The financial world has a long memory and bad decisions tend to be remembered for a long time.
Google also sent documentation to dozens of standard organizations promising that it would offer licenses for some of Motorola’s patents. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, however, it didn’t rule out seeking injunctions against any potential patent violators. Time will tell whether Page made the right decision or if he lead Google down the wrong path. The patent war is about to be restarted.
Motorola Mobility adds a bow to the offering that Google has. Suddenly it is no longer just an Internet search business but rather a hybrid technology company. I wonder what Larry has in-store for Motorola.. as I don’t expect the obvious to continue. Phablet (a combination of a phone and tablet that is difficult to distinguish) anyone?