Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, the companies announced yesterday, ending what Bloomberg/Businessweek is calling "a rare misadventure" for the big G. Google will retain the "vast majority" of Motorola's patents—which were cited as a major reason for the acquisition in the first place—as well as Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects group, the Verge reports. In a letter to staff, obtained by TechCrunch, Google CEO Larry Page said that in the "super competitive" smartphone market "it helps to be all in," and Lenovo would be.
Lenovo doesn't have "an effective plan yet," its CEO said, but it believes the buy will "immediately make Lenovo a major smartphone company in the US," much as buying IBM's Thinkpad line made it an instant player in the laptop business. Google, meanwhile, is basically cutting its losses with the deal; it bought Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2012, and it's lost hundreds of millions every quarter since. On the bright side, Quartz points out that it saved billions in taxes and diversified the Android market, creating a viable Samsung competitor.