Motorola Mobility Shareholders OK Google Deal

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Motorola Mobility said shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of Google's $12.5 billion cash offer to buy the company, with 99% of shares voting for the deal at Thursday's special meeting of stockholders.

The acquisition must still clear regulatory approvals in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. The 99% of shares voted in favor represented approximately 74% of Motorola Mobility's total outstanding shares of common stock as of Oct. 11, the cutoff for voting eligibility.

Google made the surprise bid for Motorola Mobility in August, primarily looking to obtain Motorola's large intellectual property portfolio of more than 17,000 patents. Google was said to be urgently looking for a way to protect the Android operating system from competitors' lawsuits.

"We are pleased and gratified by the strong support we have received from our stockholders, with more than 99% of the voting shares voting in support of the transaction," Motorola Mobility chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Google to realize the significant value this combination will bring to our stockholders and all the new opportunities it will provide our dedicated employees, customers, and partners."

Motorola Mobility said it now expects the deal to close in early 2012. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said he expected the acquisition to close by April 2012.

During the opening general session at SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo this week in Atlanta, Jha said that "it's a little too early to say" how the Google acquisition will affect Motorola Mobility, noting that the companies are required to operate as two independent entities pending regulatory approvals. But, Jha added, "What excites me about this combination is the ability to bring a lot of Internet learning to what we're doing."

In a regulatory filing, Motorola Mobility said it was laying off 800 employees in the current quarter, or about 4.2% of its global workforce.

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