Google, Motorola prompt an analysis frenzy

Wed, 08/31/2011 - 1:11pm
Craig Kuhl

With the flurry of analyses and frenzied sound bites behind us, the $12.5 billion Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility now enters the deeper-dive scrutiny stage.

Upsides, challenges and ramifications of the "Deal of the Year" are surfacing as a gaggle of analysts and industry observers pore over the fine print for clues about who gets what and why.

Most analysts were in favor of the deal, citing a string of solid reasons why it made sense for both Google and Motorola, the most notable being the impressive list of patents held by Motorola that Google can now access.

But there were other compelling reasons for the deal to be done, analysts report, so here is a compilation of what some key analysts had to say about the acquisition.

"By purchasing Motorola Mobility, Google can take control of the Android platform in a way that just wasn't possible before. The Motorola purchase is more about Google enabling its vision in the way Apple enables its vision."

And this from In-Stat about Motorola's patents and the set-top box business: "Motorola's patent library is the icing on the cake, as Motorola Mobility's mobile patent portfolio is quite rich. But let's not forget set-top boxes. While there is opportunity for cross-fertilization between Google TV and Motorola's home business, we believe it will take time to bear fruit. However, Motorola's Home business will provide Google with a team that has an excellent relationship with the pay-TV service provider community and content development community."

IMS Research
"The deal allows Google to get closer to the video arena from the services side versus the consumer side. It also allows Google to have direct presence at the front line of the world's most competitive market for deploying pay-TV applications to tablets and handsets," said IMS Research's Paul Erickson.

And for Motorola? "There are key places where Google could add significant value to Motorola's pay-TV and home product portfolio," added Stephen Froehlich, senior analyst for IMS. These places include: content search and discovery; low-cost, energy-efficient data centers; and cloud-based, multi-screen services.

SNL Kagan
SNL Kagan had a more business-specific analysis of the deal: "Motorola Mobility comes with a treasure trove of patents to counter Google's missed opportunity in winning the Nortel patent portfolio and to be used defensively in this new era of aggressive patent litigation."

And this from Kagan's senior analyst, Sharon Armbrist: "Google sees the need to arm itself with its own in-house device brand to compete effectively with Apple and create an iconic device line like the iPhone. The big premium speaks to the importance of the acquisition to Google and to the job that [Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha] has done in turning Motorola around."

Rapid TV News
"Beyond mobile phones and media tablets like the top-echelon Xoom, Motorola Mobility has a healthy install base. That gives Google an attractive footprint to leverage on a number of different fronts within the digital home, perhaps with a Trojan horse strategy of pushing Android-based middleware out to shore up its lackluster connected TV strategy," Rapid TV News said.

No doubt we'll be seeing plenty more opinions and analyses about the Google-Motorola deal. In the meantime, keep an eye on Apple's response.


Sponsored by Motorola

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