This morning Google anounced that they just bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. With all the latest Mobile patents war between Apple, Microsoft and Google, they were obviously chasing the strong portfolio of more than 17000 patents.
Microsoft was interested in acquiring Motorola’s patent portfolio that would have allowed it to torpedo Android even further. The possibility of that deal brought Google to the negotiation table, resulting in the blockbuster sale. OM Malik on GigaOM
Pissed that they lost the last fight over Nortel’s patents, Google had to do something. They were probably looking to secure their Android platform from rival, which means more control over the “open” platform (don’t be fool). They will be able to deploy Android update much faster or at least to put pressure on these OEMs (HTC, Samsung) not fast enough. They can defend Android much better with that acquisition, as MG Siegler on Techcrunch wrote:
What happens when the iPhone 5 launches and everyone wants it? That includes many people currently using Android phones. After a few months of this, Google grows frustrated that none of their OEMs can release a device that matches the build-quality that Apple puts out there. But wait, they now have their own company they can at the very least use to apply to pressure the other OEMs to force them to do better work!