Google looks to sell Motorola’s set-top box business

“Google Inc. wants to sell the unit within Motorola Mobility that sells set-top boxes and other equipment to cable television providers and has hired Barclays Plc to seek buyers, according to two people familiar with the situation,” Matthew Campbell, Serena Saitto and Brian Womack report for Bloomberg. “Motorola Mobility’s Home Business unit might fetch about $2 billion and the sale is in the very early stages, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.”

“Light Reading Cable reported on Aug. 6 that Google was considering a sale of the Home Business unit,” Campbell, Saitto and Womack report. “Motorola tried to sell the unit in 2009 for more than $4 billion, people close to the situation said at the time.”

Campbell, Saitto and Womack report, “Google announced the deal to buy Motorola Mobility a year ago [for $12.5 billion] after losing out on an auction of Nortel Networks Corp. patents to a group that included Apple, Microsoft Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd. which bought them for $4.5 billion.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Wow, maybe they found out that Vel Hogan holds a couple of the patents related to the set top boxes and wanted out, lest he be emboldened by his single handed biased victory over Samsung.
    (/dripping sarcasm)

  2. In this age of buying assets for billions, even when they aren’t turning a profit, Google should be able to find someone, to help bail them out of the mistake that was Motorola.

  3. Leave it to Google to NOT see this as a business opportunity and want to short-sell. Motorola almost has a complete monopoly on DVR & Cable box deployments through every provider in the Midwest and entire East Coast except Satelite and U-Verse. The basic HD boxes Comcast and Time-Warner force on people are 4-5 years old and you have to “rent” them as part of your service for $15-30 a month. How could Google not invest some R&D, rebrand them, and push them for $99 with a GoogleTV service for a one-time fee (programming data and such like TiVo) onto consumers?? Then the cable companies would be forced to adapt-change pricing for cable customers etc. Google could charge for dynamic advertising in a “non-TV” watching state when the box is being used in an Internet Apple TV like state….the ideas go on…WTF Google?? Or should I say “Goofle?”

    1. “How could Google not invest some R&D, rebrand them, and push them for $99 with a GoogleTV service”

      Because Google is NO Apple. Pretending you are wise and forward looking is what Google does best. Sometimes they luck out, mostly they do not. They could have made a serious bid for the Nortel patents and saved themselves $6 Billion. The could have seen this Motorola business as a way into the huge existing market.

      But no. With out someone to copy, they just seem lost.

      Just a thought.

  4. Nobody will buy it. I’ve got a DVR provided by my cable company that just happens to be made by moto. Its complete garbage. The UI is not even up to the level of the TI-85 graphing calculator from the 90’s (80’s?) and looks like something you’d see on an old Tandy, dos machine. Really really horrible. Good luck with that google (sic)

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