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Google late last night stunned the IT market with the news it has entered into a “definitive agreement” to acquire Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion. The search giant said the deal “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing.”It remains to be seen if that view will be shared by the likes of other Android makers, including Samsung, HTC, LG, Toshiba and Acer – who now find themselves in competition with the very company on whom they depend for software. Despite public announcements of support, behind the scenes all are believed to be regarding the deal with great suspicion.

Motorola Mobility is the maker of the Xoom, the only Android tablet yet to make much of an impact on iPad sales – though it is still a long way below the Apple tablet’s sales levels. Google is acquiring it for $40 a share, 63 percent above Motorola’s Friday closing price.

Google has said that it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Said Andy Rubin, senior veep of mobile matters at Google: “Our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community.”

While the company’s statement made no reference to patents, a Wall Street Journal report said the deal will significantly bolster Google’s intellectual property armory. Having lost out in deals to buy the patent portfolios of Novell and Nortel, it has been on the look-out for other targets, including negotiating a deal to buy some assets from IBM, the WSJ says.

Google has previously accused Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, RIM and others of an “organised” campaign against Android – but Microsoft last week revealed that Google had been invited to join the US$4.5 billion bid for the Nortel patents and had declined.

The Motorola transaction is expected to close around the end of this year.

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