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Google finally (officially) buys Motorola Mobility. Now what?

Motorola Mobility now officially belongs to Google, CEO Larry Page announced this week. 

By Matthew Shaer / May 23, 2012

Google is cutting 1,200 jobs in its Motorola division, in addition to the 4,000 jobs it cut months ago. Here, a Motorola handset displaying the Google homepage.

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Back in February, European antitrust regulators and the US government gave the OK to Google's $12.5 million acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a cell phone and electronics maker. Today comes word, via CEO Larry Page, that Google has finalized the terms of the agreement – meaning, as several analysts have pointed out, that the search giant is now officially in the hardware game.

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"It’s a well known fact that people tend to overestimate the impact technology will have in the short term, but underestimate its significance in the longer term," Page wrote on the Google blog. "Many users coming online today may never use a desktop machine, and the impact of that transition will be profound--as will the ability to just tap and pay with your phone. That’s why it’s a great time to be in the mobile business." 

In a press release, Motorola Mobility reps said Sanjay Jha, the CEO since 2008, will be replaced by Dennis Woodside, a former senior vice president of Google Americas. "My job is to make Motorola as successful as possible and deliver innovative hardware as a licensee of Android," Woodside recently told a reporter at Businessweek. So what's ahead for Google and Motorola Mobility? 

Well, over at Information Week, Eric Zeman argues that "Google and Motorola need to get to work" if the acquisition is going to be deemed a success. He offers a range of suggestions, including building fewer but better handsets; making a "swift decision" about cable television boxes, which Motorola Mobility currently manufactures; and establishing a wide-ranging network of business partners. 

"Motorola has relationships with carriers worldwide – relationships that were in place long before Google came along," Zeman writes. "Google and Motorola need to tread lightly and make sure these relationships can move forward productively. If wireless network operators, for example, start to think that Google is going to be another Apple and exert too much control over Android devices, they might not be willing to sell Motorola's devices." 

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