Google Sells Off Motorola Home Unit, Recouping Some of Its Money

Google had no interest in the set-top box unit of Motorola

Google is getting some of the money it paid for Motorola back by offloading the Motorola Home unit which makes set-top boxes for cable companies. Motorola Home was actually doing better, financially, than the mobile unit, but it had no place at Google.

Arris, a cable provider equipment maker will pay $2.35 billion, €1.78 billion, $300 million, €227 million of which will be in stock, for Motorola Home. Google will own some 15.7 percent of Arris as a result. Arris also gets access to Motorola Mobility's full lineup of patents, for protection.

As part of the deal, it also got a patent lawsuit liability protection from Google, meaning that if it loses a patent suit, Google will cover most of the damages.

Google paid $12.5 billion, €9.46 billion for Motorola Mobility earlier this year in a move that was seen as mostly about the tens of thousands of patents the company had.

Indeed, the mobile unit isn't doing great financially and hasn't put out particularly popular phones in a while. Google doesn't seem all that interested in changing that either, it seems more worried about upsetting its other Android partners than it is about the fate of Motorola.

There's yet to be a Motorola Nexus device, for example, and chances are, there isn't going to be one for a while to come. That said, Google paid too much for Motorola just to watch it die.

"Our Home business has been a vibrant part of Motorola Mobility's portfolio, innovating while delivering strong financial performance," Dennis Woodside, Google appointed CEO of Motorola Mobility, said in the customary exchange of pleasantries.

"The industry faces its biggest technology transformation, and together ARRIS and Motorola will be able to accelerate related innovations such as the introduction of the IP Connected Home environments that service providers need and that their consumers crave," he added.

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