Yesterday we brought you news that Google's planned purchase of Motorola Mobility had cleared its final regulatory hurdle: approval by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. After the ruling, Motorola filed a form with the SEC stating that they expected the deal to conclude within two business days - or by tomorrow at the latest.
Today, the two companies announced that the $12.5 billion acquisition ($40 per share) had been completed. The companies also announced that long-time Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha would be stepping down, to be replaced by Google's President of the Americas region, Dennis Woodside.
Any way you slice it, this is a pretty big deal for Google. Since launching Android in 2008 they have refrained from getting into the handset business directly, instead partnering with manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. With today's acquisition, though, Google officially enters the handset market themselves. While the company did not reveal specific plans, there were hints that appear to confirm last week's rumors that they planned to expand the Nexus line to include several more devices. Woodside said that the plan moving forward is "to focus Motorola Mobility's remarkable talent on fewer, bigger bets."
The deal also has potentially huge implications for other Android-based handset makers - namely Samsung. Samsung is currently at the head of the Android pack by a wide margin. Google, though, is now a direct competitor to Samsung (who, it should be noted, was the manufacturer for the latest Nexus device, the Galaxy Nexus). The impact this new competition will have on the Android market is still very much unclear, but will certainly be worth watching.