Posts Tagged ‘google’

Google buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

August 15th, 2011

Google has announced plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. The deal gives Google a stronger foothold in the mobile industry, putting it directly in the handset business, and positions Google to better compete with companies like Apple.

Google CEO Larry Page, made the announcement on the company’s blog, saying the deal will “supercharge Android.”

“Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users,” Page wrote. “Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.”

Google’s cash offer is $40 per share which is a 63 percent premium on Motorola‘s closing price Friday, and the deal is expected to close by the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

Google says it has activated more than 150 million Android devices, adding 550,000 new devices each day. The company boasts a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries.

“Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today,” Page said. “In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.”

Page says the acquisition will not change Google’s promise to keep Android as an open platform, saying Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open.

“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world,” Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said in a press release. “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

While Motorola will run as a separate business, this deal marks the first time Google has had a hand directly in the mobile handset business.

“Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies,” Page said. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.”

When the acquisition announcement was first made, questions arose around how HTC, LG, Samsung, Acer, Sony Ericsson and Lenovo would respond to the announcement.

Google says says the reaction has been positive, quoting positive responses from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG execs.

In the acquisition announcement, Page also took a shot at Microsoft and Apple, saying the companies 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,” Page said. “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.”

According to Motorola, the company has 14,600 patents, with 6,700 patent applications pending worldwide.

Google says the Motorola acquisition will enhance competition, offer greater innovation and choice and a better user experience.

Google’s Eric Schmidt sits down with Tina Fey

April 26th, 2011

Google's Eric Schmidt in an interview with actor Tina Fey

It wasn’t long ago that Google’s Marissa Mayer lead a great interview with Lady Gaga. While Google may not be the first place you’d go in order to watch an hour-long sit-down interview with a celebrity, it seems they’re getting good at it.

Today, I stumbled upon an interview from April 20th with Tina Fey. The interviewer? Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt.

Like Mayer, he’s good at interviewing and he does a good job relating to his subject. He’s no doubt lucky that Fey is like a snowball picking up momentum as she moves along, but Schmidt does a decent job joking and talking with her about everything from improv comedy to smartphones and tracking.

For your viewing pleasure:

Google interviews Lady Gaga

March 24th, 2011

Lady Gaga interviewed by Google's Marissa Mayer

It’s not every day a big tech company scores a sit-down interview with an über celebrity. So when that big tech company is Google, and when the über celeb is Gaga, people take notice.

To my surprise, this 73-minute video is actually a pretty good interview. Using questions pulled from the Google Moderator page on Gaga’s YouTube channel, Google’s Marissa Mayer leads a great interview. Gaga talks seriously about her rise to fame with interesting details about what it’s like to be one of the most famous people in the world.

As Alexia Tsotsis notes on TechCrunch,  “the entire interview was shockingly relevant to Google’s core competency, namely YouTube and search.”

I didn’t expect to ever be showcasing a Gaga video via this blog, but for anyone interested in the business of Gaga, the person and how Google fits in to her celebrity, this video is worth watching.

Google announces ‘One Pass’ subscription service for publishers

February 16th, 2011

Google One Pass

In a blog post today, Google announced it is rolling out Google One Pass, a subscription service designed to let publishers set prices to access digital content.

Google One Pass offers publishers a variety of subscription options, including auto-renewing subscriptions, day passes, metered access, pay-per-article or multi-issue packages.

Using a single sign-on, a reader can access content on multiple platforms, including Web and mobile, without having to subscribe to multiple feeds. It’s a “purchase-once, view-anywhere solution,” Google says.

“With Google One Pass, publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them — offering subscriptions, metered access, ‘freemium’ content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps,” writes Lee Shirani, director, business product management, Google Commerce. “The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content. We take care of the rest, including payments technology handled via Google Checkout.”

The roll-out of Google One Pass comes one day after Apple announced a subscription model for iOS devices. As the Financial Times reports, Google will take a 10 percent cut of any revenue from One Pass, compared to Apple’s 30 percent take on subscriptions sold for iOS devices.

Google’s Eric Schmidt announced Google One Pass at Humboldt University in Berlin today. The company says its goal is to provide an open and flexible platform to support publishers and journalism.

The first partners include German publishers Axel Springer AG, Focus Online (Tomorrow Focus), Stern.de, Media General, NouvelObs, Bonnier’s Popular Science, Prisa and Rust Communications.

Google One Pass is currently available in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The company plans to expand to other geographies in the coming months.

The Google One Pass FAQ can be found here, and the company posted the following overview video for the product:

Some advice for Larry Page as he takes over as Google CEO

January 21st, 2011

Larry Page, Co-Founder and CEO of GoogleEric Schmidt surprised the world yesterday’s when he announced he was stepping down as Google‘s CEO and Larry Page was taking over. The tech and Web worlds are left scratching their heads about possible reasons, and analysts and observers are figuring out what it means for the future of the company.

If you follow tech and Web news, you’re likely familiar with a lot of Google’s challenges. The company is losing engineers to Facebook; it’s being criticized for it’s social strategy; it’s having trouble explaining to investors why Android is good for its future when it doesn’t make any money from it; and people are starting to question its once-famous motto “Don’t be evil.”

There is no question Google is a massive success, and the company is positioned well going forward into the worlds of search, advertising and mobile. But there is also a long list of things it needs to do to get back its mojo.

Danny Sullivan, the editor-in-chief of the popular Search Engine Land blog, has published a To-Do list for new CEO Larry Page and it’s spot-on in many ways.

“Welcome back, Larry,” Sullivan writes. “When you were last CEO of Google in 2001, the company was a much loved scrappy underdog with a bright future. Ten years later, you’re coming back to the helm. Things have changed. You’re soon to be steering a massive battleship that’s taking on water from a number of hits over the years. Let’s talk damage control.”

The blog outlines all of Google’s current problems, be they real or perceived, and offers the company some sound and good advice.

Google has to convince regulators it’s not a monopoly; get it’s foot in the social door; explain its mobile strategy; finalize its operating system and get it moving; show it’s not evil and prove it’s the place to be for top talent; incubate good ideas like a start-up; and figure out a way to get garbage out of its search results.

“Make no mistake — Google is a rich company, in actual cash, in quality products and in talent,” Sullivan writes. “It faces challenges, as any company entering its “adult” years can be expected to have. The question is, how well will the leadership shuffling tackle those challenges.”

For a great read on Google’s challenges, check out Sullivan’s post here: A To Do List For Google’s New CEO Larry Page