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Nearly half of Google's Moto gobble cash was spanked on patents

A cool $5.5bn to line Googorola's legal war chest

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Google has finally put a price tag of $5.5bn on the patents it snaffled in its $12.4bn purchase of Motorola Mobility.

The web behemoth declared the value of Moto's "patents and developed technology" in a filing with US stock market regulator SEC.

The Chocolate Factory's surprise Motorola Mobility gobble was attributed mainly to its desire to stock up on patents to protect its mobile operating system Android from the legal machinations of rivals Apple, Microsoft and even Oracle. But there has also been plenty of speculation about what the firm will do with a hardware arm.

Google has yet to make its plot for Moto clear, telling investors in its earnings conference call last week that it was too soon to reveal it plans. However, yesterday's filing to SEC attributed $2.6bn of the Moto cost to goodwill "primarily attributed to the synergies expected to arise after the acquisition".

The advertising giant will have to do something if it wants to bag more than some courtroom ammunition from Moto: the mobile wing's contribution to second quarter earnings was a $233m loss. That's not surprising given that Moto spent successive periods in the red before it was merged into the Googorola machine. ®

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