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Google has just announced that they're buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in an attempt to supercharge the Android platform. While the move will bring Google into the handset manufacturing business for the first time, potentially setting them up to deliver the same type of unified, integrated experience Apple is famous for, Google maintains they'll be running Motorola as a separate business. Which raises some important questions:

  1. How will the play out for other Android licensees like HTC and Samsung? (Microsoft making the Zune killed the PlaysForSure alliance.)
  2. Will all future Nexus-type devices come from Motorola going forward?
  3. Will all future Motorola phones run stock Android going forward? (no more Blur.)
  4. Is Motorola's patent portfolio strong enough to provide cover against Microsoft and Apple lawsuits?

Quotes from Larry Page and Sanjay Jha after the break.

[Google PR, Google Blog, Android Central coverage]

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, “This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, “We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices.”

Just to remind us that Google will still be Google -- unabashedly hypocritical to the last -- Page added the following by way of the Official Google Blog:

We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

Are "anti-competitive patent attacks" worse than "anti-competitive patent violations"? Google's a big boy company now, facing regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits over their own practices, including their treatment of rival SkyHook, so how about we can the rhetoric and just make us some great new Googlerola phones, would you please?

UDPATE 1: Google's ODM partners have responded to the news... in a way that makes us suspect Google snuck into their houses late last night and replaced them all with Android-powered Replicants. [Android Central]

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC:

“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”

Bert Nordberg, President & CEO, Sony Ericsson:

“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D, President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company:

“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

J.K. Shin, President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division:

"We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem."

Yeah, like Georgia said, "we welcome our new Motogoog overlords..."

UPDATE 2: GigaOm is reporting that Microsoft wanted to buy Motorola first, to use their patents to further sink Android, which is what brought Google to the table. [GigaOm

UPDATE 3: