Google officials on Monday announced the $12.5 billion deal, which would transform the search engine into a cell manufacturer after years spent wading into the wireless business and critically intensify Washington scrutiny of a company already feeling antitrust heat.
Now Google Inc. now has an internal smartphone manufacturing division to further the march of its Android software platform as it vies with Apple Inc. for global smartphone supremacy.
David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google, said the company is “confident” the deal will be approved. The company has yet to spell out what kind of regulatory review it is expecting.
“We very strongly believe that this is a pro-competitive transaction,” Drummond said.
Page said in a blog post announcing the deal that Google will run Motorola as a separate business from Android and maintain its commitment to “openness” by continuing its relationships with other cell makers. Openness is a key talking point for Google in Washington, differentiating it from phone companies who sign exclusive contracts with other players in the cell business.
The purchase of Motorola will help Google fend off lawsuits from tech rivals by broadening the array of patents Google owns, according to Page, who needled other tech leaders for “anti-competitive” behavior.
“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,” Page wrote.