Google CEO Larry Page Comments on Motorola Purchase; So do HTC, Samsung & Others
Obviously the big news for the day, is that Google is set to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion dollars. Speculation as to the motivation of the acquisition has been running rampant across the internet. Most of it focused on the assumption that the primary reason is that Google wants Motorola's patents so they can help protect the Android ecosystem as a whole. That particular theory turns out to be spot on. Here's a quote from CEO of Google, Larry Page, from a post he wrote on Google's blog,
For folks that worry this may change the landscape of Android and impact it in a negative way, he elaborated further by saying,
"We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to 'protect competition and innovation in the open source software community' and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."
This is a pretty brilliant move on Google's part. It's too bad they have to resort to these maneuvers in order to simply protect their ability to innovate and compete in the marketplace, but at least they are not "rolling over."
"This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences."
Interestingly, several of Android's primary smartphone manufacturer's have also sounded off on the issue, and so far have nothing but praise for the move by Google. In fact, here are quotes from HTC, Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson:
“We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem” - Peter Chou, CEO, HTC
“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem” - J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division
“We welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners” - Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D, President & CEO, LG
It's actually pretty exciting to see Google flexing its muscle in preparation to start actively defending 'Andy'. Obviously the other side benefit to this acquisition (which could also be a potential negative) is that Google will be able to further enforce quality control on the Android ecosystem. Even though that means Android will be a bit less "open", as long as they don't get too heavy-handed with it, this will probably end up being a net positive. What do you think?
“I welcome Google’s commitment to defending Android and its partners” - Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson
Source: BGR and SlashGear
The Harmony Will Be Short-Lived
Trust me, the other hardware manufacturers will not be content licensing software from what is now their competitor - Google/Motorola. This acquisition will allow Google to provide its own captive manufacturer (Motorola) with all of the best software, gain a significant competitive advantage over the other manufacturers and (ultimately) either drive those other manufacturers to a different platform or put them out of business. It is as if Intel purchased Dell - do you think that other PC manufacturers would remain eager to purchase Intel chips? The only reason to buy from a competitor is if no other choice exists - this is business school 101. HTC and others, while currently saying nice things about the acquisition, are busy evaluating their alternatives to Google.