Layoffs May Follow Google-Motorola Deal

By Beecher Tuttle May 21, 2012

Google received excellent news this past weekend when its proposed $12.5-billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility cleared its final regulatory hurdle, setting the stage for what is sure to be an interesting relationship between the Android maker and its current hardware partners.

But what has been lost in the shuffle is the fate of Motorola Mobility and its approximately 14,000-person staff. Unfortunately for them, the news is much less cheerful.

Tech Crunch reported earlier today that Google management will embark on what is known as a "listening tour," which sounds an awful lot like what the consultants did in the movie Office Space. Google execs will interview Motorola Mobility employees for their current job and make decisions from there. A source told Tech Crunch that layoffs are imminent.

As the news source points out, Google has a history of laying off employees at newly-acquired companies. After acquiring DoubleClick in 2007, Google let go approximately 40 percent of the company's 1,600-person staff. While it's hard to believe that Google would fire 8,000-plus Motorola employees, the number may still be substantial.

Either way, any Motorola Mobility employee having problems with their TPS reports is probably getting their resume together…or at least taking their red stapler home for safe keeping.

The Google-Motorola transaction is expected to be finalized in the next few days after China followed in the footsteps of U.S. and European regulators over the weekend by signing off on the deal.

Unlike other regulators, though, Chinese authorities imposed one stipulation: the Internet giant must keep its Android mobile operating system free and open to other device makers for at least five years.

The move is a clear effort by China to benefit domestic handset vendors like as ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co., which rely on Android to power their own mobile devices. Google's leap into the hardware business has caused some apprehension among Android partners who now find themselves as de facto competitors of the search firm.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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