General consensus is that Google's primary motivation in spending $12.4bn to buy out Motorola – in a deal announced last year but which only concluded in May – was to get its hands on Moto's patents.
Yet it turns out that Motorola's patent library and its other intellectual property is worth less than half that, just $5.5bn – that's according to no less an authority than Google itself.
The revelation comes courtesy of a regulatory filing reported by the Wall Street Journal, in which the search giant broke down just what the Moto price tag was made up of.
Of the other near-$7bn, the majority went to cash acquired ($2.9bn) and “goodwill” ($2.6bn), which Google says is “primarily attributed to the synergies expected to arise after the acquisition”.
That seems to mean Google effectively overpaid by 25% for the strategic benefit it sees in actually owning Motorola in the first place.
At this stage, though, just what Google's plans are for its new multi-billion-dollar plaything are a mystery. It certainly didn't shed any light on the matter when saying it had “nothing to announce” during its latest earnings call, and let's face it – new Moto handsets aren't exactly rolling out left, right and centre at the moment, are they?