Google to Buy FTTH Vendor Motorola Mobility

  • FTTH
  • Google
  • Google Fiber
  • Motorola
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA & LIBERTYVILLE, IL - Google and Motorola Mobility Holdings, the "spun off" division of Motorola, announced a definitive agreement for Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63 percent over Motorola Mobility's closing price last Friday. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

As the companies' press release and thousands of articles have pointed out, the deal is primarily about mobile computing and the Android operating system. Motorola Mobility is an Android partner and will remain a licensee of Android. (Android will remain an open platform, according to Google.) Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Motorola and Google Fiber
But Motorola Mobility is about more than mobility. Included in the package is a fiber-to-the-home equipment business, possibly the largest in the U.S. market - Motorola has been one of the major equipment suppliers to the Verizon FiOS project, especially for multifamily housing, and it has at least 20 other FTTH customers, including Cincinnati Bell.

Google has been very quiet about the vendors it will use in its Fiber for Communities project, which is now building networks in the two Kansas Cities. But consider this juxtaposition of events:

Motorola announces impending split: February 11, 2010

Google issues Fiber for Communities RFI: February 10, 2010

In addition to FTTH, Motorola Mobility includes a set-top-box business - one of the two largest, along with Cisco - which may help revive the struggling Google TV project. Also included is the successful Passive Optical LAN division, which is stringing fiber to the desktop throughout corporate America.

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