Google has signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, the company announced after markets closed on Wednesday.
Google will keep the "vast majority" of around 17,000 patents it acquired when it bought Motorola in 2012 for $12.5 billion.
Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity—just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.
While Google is selling Motorola for much less than it paid for it, the deal isn't as bad as it seems at first. Google is still keeping a bunch of Motrola's patents, which it can license out to other companies. Google also sold off Motorola's cable box business (the home division) for $2.5 billion.
Meanwhile, it's worth noting that Samsung, which makes more Android phones than any other manufacturer, is getting more cozy with Google. The two companies now have a 10-year patent deal. There's also a new report from Recode that says Samsung has agreed to feature more Google services in its Android phones.