Google buys MMI

And with that the great mobile patent wars quiet down. I
anticipate that Google will offer patent indemnity to its partners
in short order. The public price is $12.5 billion, but given that
MMI has $3B of cash on hand, it’s really a $9.5B deal.

The various extortion and extinguishing rackets will disappear.
I’ve seen some questionable analysis from the regular shills
declaring that this changes nothing because Microsoft and Apple are
both suing Motorola: Microsoft’s suit was utter desperation (it
could rightly have been called the “pretty pretty pretty please
will you make Windows Phone devices?” suit), and Apple’s suit came
as a reaction to Motorola’s lawsuit. Both have fizzed in the
background, with minimal claims, and have in no way represented the
apocalyptic all out patent warfare that comes.

Aside from the massive patent haul Google picked up, the other
element of this purchase that holds opportunity is the PVR
business: Motorola provides PVRs to a huge range of cable
companies. These are powerful little media computers that tend to
be seriously underutilized. They have ethernet ports and USB jacks,
yet most act as nothing but dumb terminals.

There is so much potential there. The only hindrance has been
the cable companies. Hopefully Google can provide some benefits
that help that industry modernize.

This deal is unfortunate only in that it demotivates Google from
their anti-patent quest. Now that they have a significant piece of
the pie, at a hefty price tag, they’ll be less inclined to argue in
favor of much needed reform.

Update: Quite a few are noting, if not mocking, the similarities
in the press
by the various Android players. Of course they
are coordinated.
Does anyone think they didn’t have a get
together over the weekend to put on a common front? Does anyone
think they didn’t coordinate their response?

It would have been concerning if their responses were of the no
comment, surprised sort. They weren’t surprised.

What takes the award for the most hilarious response, however,
is once again courtesy of Gruber.

Warm and glowing these remarks are not, and the
sameness is a little creepy.

Warm and glowing? Should they have added smileys and hugs and
kisses? They seemed like exactly the response I would

As one aside, for a period today, and likely to repeat and then
maintain, AAPL’s market value was greater than double that
of GOOG ($356B vs $177B).