Motorola Mobility hasn't lasted long at Google, with the Android giant agreeing to sell Motorola to Lenovo in a deal worth $2.91 billion. Google with retain the majority of Motorola's patents in the sale, as well as the Advanced Technology and Projects group, while 2,000 patents and a license for the remaining patents will be transferred to Lenovo.
To start with, Lenovo will pay Google $750 million in stock and $660 million in cash, with the remaining $1.5 billion to be paid over the course of three years. Google originally bought Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2012, and in 2013 the company sold the set-top box division to the Arris Group for $2.3 billion, in some respects creating a $7.3 billion loss for Google through today's sale.
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said in a statement that "the acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones". A leaked email from Google to employees also revealed that the company believes Motorola will be "better served under Lenovo" as "the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all in when it comes to making mobile devices".
Motorola's existing management team will be staying on board as it transitions to Lenovo, and the company will continue to sell some smartphones under the Motorola brand. Lenovo has acquired all Motorola smartphones currently in development, but it's unclear what will happen to current devices such as the Moto X and Moto G.
The sale means that Lenovo is now not only the largest PC manufacturer worldwide, but also the third-largest smartphone maker in the Americas, and the second-largest phone company in China.