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Droid deal: Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

By Brandon Bailey

In a move that changes the landscape of the highly competitive mobile devices industry, Google (GOOG) said Monday that it will pay $12.5 billion to acquire phone-maker Motorola Mobility.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, will give Google its own hardware products and allow it to compete more closely with phone- and tablet-makers such as Apple (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and the new alliance between Microsoft and Nokia.

It also gives Google access to thousands of patents held by Motorola, which pioneered the cellphone business. Analysts said that could help the Mountain View company stave off a barrage of patent claims levied by Apple, Microsoft and other rivals against Google’s Android operating system.

Fundamentally, the decision to buy Motorola underscores the growing importance of mobile computing to Google, which draws most of its revenue from selling advertising associated with Internet searches, as consumers and workers

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