One of my hopes when Google had announced that it was acquiring smartphone-maker Motorola Mobility in a deal valued at $12.5 billion was that Google now has a credible hardware platform in the form of Motorola cable boxes to leverage its emerging Google TV offering. However, as we had reported earlier this year, Google is now looking to sell off the TV business from Motorola, and the deal may be set to close as early as the end of this year.
According to a report on Yahoo, offers have been made by Arris Group to acquire Motorola’s Home Business. The business unit is estimated to be valued at $2.5 to 4 billion, though it’s unclear what financial offers Arris has made to Google. It’s projected that there is a 50 percent chance that the deal would be announced by the end of the month.
The move comes as Google is trying to slim down Motorola and help make the smartphone-maker more profitable. Most recently, Google had axed Motorola’s experimental Webtop OS and Lapdock accessories, streamlined the product portfolio so that fewer phones would be released, and committed the division to deploying reasonably faster software updates.
As Google had acquired Motorola Mobility in the midst of Apple’s thermonuclear war against Android, Google wanted the company’s patents and intellectual property to defend itself against Apple if needed. The deal to unload the Motorola Home Business may be challenging due to complex financing structures as Google hopes to retain equity in the company and also maintain the patents held by that business unit.
It’s unclear what direction Google hopes to take Google TV in as there hasn’t been much success with that product.