Google agreed on Monday to a deal to buy mobile handset maker Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion dollars (8.6 billion euros).
It will the biggest acquisition in the search engine giant’s history if approved by shareholders and regulators.
Analysts say the deal aims to cement Google’s mobile operating system Android as the smartphone industry leader in terms of market share.
Research firm Gartner Inc. said more than 43% of smartphones sold globally in the most recent quarter were Android devices. Its data said Apple’s iPhone accounted for about 18 percent of sales.
“Google clearly is very interested in making sure that they are there when people are trying to get to the Internet through a mobile device,” said Ben Schachter of Macquarie Capital.
“Mobile devices are growing at the fastest rates in the industry. Already today more than ten percent of all Google page views are happening on mobile devices so they need to make sure that if you want to get to the Internet and you have a smart phone they want you going through their device and not just through Apple or Microsoft or others.”
In acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google will now also have access to an estimated 24,000 patents.