Google just made a pretty serious move in the mobile space, buying up Motorola Mobility (the Motorola cellphone business) for a whopping $12.5 billion. It's the biggest deal Google has ever made, by far.
The deal puts Google right in the hardware game, giving it ownership of the maker of the Droid line of phones, amongst others. Google says that it'll keep Android an open platform, having no plans to make the OS exclusive to their new hardware division.
Much of the deal was for Motorola's patents. Last month, Apple and Microsoft purchased about 6,000 patents from Nortel Networks, and Google also paid $4.5 billion for over 1,000 IBM patents. This new move not only makes them one of the biggest phone hardware designers and manufacturers, but it loads them up with lots of patents to help protect them from lawsuits from Apple and Microsoft.
It'll be interesting to see how Google changes Motorola's hardware strategies and designs in the future.
Via NY Times