News of Google buying Motorola for $12.5 billion took the tech community by surprise this morning, but now it’s believed that Google may have had no other choice. If it didn’t scoop up Motorola, rival Microsoft may have done so instead, giving the Windows Phone giant ample patent ammunition from Motorola’s IP treasure trove to wreak more havoc on the Android platform.
According to GigaOM, insider sources say that Motorola has been in acquisition talks with several parties, including Microsoft. The software giant’s attack on the Android platform is no secret now, especially with the recent spat in which Google openly accused Microsoft of doing just that. Hence, Motorola’s massive patent portfolio is of particular interest to Microsoft. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha even recently hinted that its IP could be used against other Android device makers.
The threat of Microsoft scooping up Motorola is apparent with Google willing to pay 60 percent more per share than Motorola’s stock value and its agreement to pay a $2.5 billion breakup fee should the deal fall through.
However, Motorola allegedly resisted advances by Microsoft. Although Jha did say it would consider adding Windows Phone to its OS roster, he also said that the company would only do so if they could get a deal similar to Nokia’s. Otherwise, Jha says that they are still evaluating the long-term viability of the Windows Phone platform and remain committed to Android.
The talks between Motorola and Google are said to have started five weeks ago with Jha talking directly with Google CEO Larry Page. Only a handful of executives were brought into the talks with Android co-founder Andy Rubin having been made aware just recently.