In a move to expand beyond the Internet business that made it famous, Google has decided to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, CNN reports.
Google controls the Android software, a popular mobile operating system, but has faced stiff competition from Apple and other smartphone makers. Buying Motorola Mobility will provide Google with the physical product it needs to become a serious contender in the mobile phone market.
“This is an emphatic exclamation point that Google is a mobile company,” said Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Capital.
According to the New York Times, Google intends to continue running Motorola as a separate company. "This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open," Google's CEO, Larry Page, said.
Motorola Mobility split from the rest of Motorola in January, ABC reports, the communications company that pioneered the cell phone thirty years ago. The acquisition is Google's largest to date and is predicted to close by early 2012.
"Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies," Page said. "Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers."
Read more about Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility and its struggles with patents at CNN here.