Paul McWilliams, editor of technology investment newsletter Next Inning Technology Research, said that another company—perhaps Microsoft—might enter the fray and top Google's bid for Motorola Mobility.
"I think there is a reasonable enough chance we'll see someone else come in with a counteroffer if for no other reason but to force Google to dig a little deeper," McWilliams wrote in a report to subscribers Monday. "As I see it, Google can clearly leverage Motorola Mobility from many perspectives, and the armor of Motorola Mobility's patent portfolio is nearly a must-have."
McWilliams said Google's move might also spur Microsoft to acquire Nokia Corp., the world's largest handset maker.
Billionaire financier Carl Ichan, a large Motorola shareholder who last month publicly urged Motorola Mobility to explore options for selling its patent portfolio in the wake of the Nortel patent auction, issued a statement Monday applauding the Google deal.
"This is a great outcome for all shareholders of Motorola Mobility, especially in light of today's markets," Icahn said.
In a separate statement, Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, "This transaction
offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders
and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees,
customers, and partners around the world."
Google and Motorola Mobility's' boards have already unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the U.S., the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders, Google said. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012, Google said.
- George Leopold and Nic Mokhoff contributed to this report from Washington D.C. and Manhassett, N.Y., respectively.
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