Google's Acquisition of Motorola: Software, Hardware, Everywhere
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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However, Google and Android had a weak portfolio of wireless patents, a fact exploited by Google's competitors like Apple and Microsoft, which filed patent infringement cases against Android collaborators. Many of these cases were settled or were expected to be settled in favor of Google's rivals, resulting in Android device makers having to pay royalties to the patent holders. Mobile device makers were finding it increasingly more expensive to deploy Android. Analysts felt that Google had to buy patent suites to file counter suits against the Android detractors. Google adopted this path and on August 15, 2011, announced that it was acquiring MM, a company with a deep suite of patents. With this deal, Google was also expected to compete effectively with Apple by coming up with refined devices that perfectly synced with Android. However, many experts felt that Google had committed a phenomenal folly and wondered whether it would be able to derive the intended synergies from the deal - they pointed out to MM's precarious financials and a weak smartphone market presence, Google's questionable capabilities in running a brick-and-mortar business, its ability - or the lack of it - to assimilate MM's mammoth taskforce given the stark contrasts in organizational cultures, and the potential dismantling of the Android network due to conflict of interests. A vital question being asked was whether Google could simultaneously collaborate and compete with its alliance partners for Android. This case is meant for MBA students as a part of the Managing Networked Businesses/ Corporate Strategy/ Strategic Management curriculum.
» Understand various issues and challenges in managing networked businesses.
Competition and Collaboration, Managing networked businesses, Online business Vs. Brick-and-mortar business, Mergers and acquisitions, Strategic alliances, Market leadership, Market dominance, Business model, Synergies, Post merger Integration, Anti-competitive threats, Intellectual Property Rights, Portfolio of wireless patents, Innovation, Google's Statement of Philosophy, Smartphone market, Motorola Mobility, Google, Samsung, HTC, Apple
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