Supporting earlier reports, sources tell Bloomberg that Google has hired Barclays to help unload the Motorola Mobility unit responsible for selling set-top boxes and other equipment to cable television providers.
“Motorola Mobility’s Home Business unit might fetch about $2 billion, and the sale is in the very early stages,” Bloomberg reports. “Google … is shifting Motorola’s focus toward high-end smartphones.”
“That’s about half what Motorola was asking for it when it attempted to sell the division in 2009,” AllThingsD notes.
Sensing a missed opportunity, The Verge writes: “When Google first announced it was buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, it seemed that the acquisition would give Mountain View a new way to aggressively push its Google TV platform.”
Now, however, “Google seems to be on a confusing, multi-pronged approach to staking a claim to home entertainment,” Forbes posits. “In addition to the traditional Motorola set-top business, the company offers Google TV, a software platform offered through OEMs via both televisions and after-market set-top boxes, to integrate content from cable and the open Internet.” (Google also recently had trouble launching its Nexus Q “media streamer” box, which routes video and audio content to consumers’ flat-screens.)
Bigger picture, “since Google and Motorola’s $12.5 billion deal went official this summer, Motorola has gone through several changes company-wide,” notes 9To5Google. “The most notable change was when up to 4,000 employees were laid off…on top of 30 of Motorola’s 90 facilities worldwide being shut down.”