Report: Microsoft was stalking Motorola Mobility

The world is still buzzing about Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) $12.5 billion bid yesterday to buy Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI). It is a deal that seemed to catch most people by surprise, though maybe it should not have, given that portions of Motorola were rumored to be on the auction block long ago before the company split itself in two parts--Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI)--at the beginning of 2011. The separation helped showcase both the company Android and handset patents, and its set-top box assets. Billionaire Motorola investor Carl Icahn also recently called for Motorola to "monetize" its 17,000 patents and 7,400 patent applications.

Now, GigaOm has reports that Google was not the only company interested in helping Motorola do just that. Sources told the publication that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) also was in the chase, and may have drawn Google in with the implicit threat that it could threaten the future of Android if it bought up Motorola's patents. GigaOm reports that Google began talking to Motorola about five weeks ago.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Motorola Mobility aisle is the video and set-top box business, and analysis continues today on what the deal could mean for the future of Google TV. Motorola is deeply entrenched with the pay TV operators as a set-top box supplier, so Motorola would seem to be able to help Google create new relationships on the video front with these operators. However, All Things Digital notes that this may not be an easy job if the pay TV universe--operators and broadcasters--already views Google as too much of a competitive threat. Google's TV agenda may still be a far cry from what the pay TV market wants or is ready for.

Finally, does the Motorola acquisition mean Google is out of the running to acquire Hulu? All Things Digital speculates that may be the case, though we will find out soon as bids roll in for Hulu this week.

For more:
- read this GigaOm story
- see this All Things D post on the TV angle
- and this post on Hulu

Related articles:
Motorola split in two just nine months ago
Motorola's set-top box unit has drawn buyer interest
Icahn called for patent monetization last month

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