Google sells Motorola’s cable set-top unit for $2.35 billion


Looks like Google is about to add a nice amount of change into their bank account with official word that ‘ol Googs is selling Motorola’s cable set-top unit for a cool $2.35 billion. Cable equipment manufacturer Arris is the new buyer and will pay up $2 billion in cash and $300 million in stock to Google, giving Arris a nice portfolio of patents and Google 15.7% ownership of Arris.

Today’s news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Ever since Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion last year we’ve heard talk that Google was planning on selling off the cable unit. Even though some were hoping Motorola’s set top unit could be used to further push Google TV, doesn’t seem Google had much different plans, keeping Motorola afloat being one of them. Deal is expected to close during the first half of next year.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Why didnt they at least attempt to make a Nexus TV STB or something along those lines. Although 2.35b is a lot of money.

    Edit: they must have shuddered when thinking about having to partner with Verizon on a fios STB

    1. GOOGLE still has an ownership stake in the new buyer of the set-top business & their influence will probably speak louder than the 15% share that they’re walking away with. On top of the chunk of change GOOGLE is walking away with + still owning the other patents in the MOTOROLA MOBILITY portfolio, it’s a very shrewd business move by GOOGLE.

    2. Motorola sells set top boxes to cable providers, not end users. Google would have to some how convince Verizon to buy a product that would take a chunk of their control away and would take a chunk of their revenue away. You think telcos/cable companies would be on board with that?

  2. Well that’s pretty stupid of Arris…you can get most set top boxes on ebay for like $50…

    Maybe this 2 billion dollar one was like….REALLY epic…

    1. $50… that’s over price for a used…

      1. Well….Arris bought one for 2 billion….50 bucks sounds like a steal

    2. Arris is an iSheep, Google slapped an Apple sticker on the back and out came 2.35B

      …they were pissed that they couldn’t camp out outside of Google HQ for a month though

  3. Good move by Google. Set-top boxes aren’t a growth industry and Google has no interest in old media. It’s all about the internet.

    1. The problem is there is no way Cable providers would let Google jump in
      and get a slice of that advertising pie. An Android of Google TV set top box would be awesome, but try convincing cable providers to carry a product that takes away from their revenues…yeah right.

  4. I’m sure the cable companies wouldn’t have welcomed any set-top-box changes introduced by Google, so this probably was a good move.

  5. The STB market is huge and Moto was a key player until the buyout. The only customers are the cable providers and they hate/fear Google tv. So it is impossible for Google to bundle GTV with a cable STB. The cable providers were not buying Moto stbs because they fear Google future intentions. Better sell that part of the company and restart GTV protect with new standalone boxes and integrated into TVs.

  6. I still think this was a good move by Google. GoogleTV can exist on many different platforms without them taking ownership of the hardware side.

  7. “Even though some were hoping Motorola’s set top unit could be used to further push Google TV, doesn’t seem Google had much different plans, keeping Motorola afloat being one of them.”

    That last section is unintelligible.

  8. What you guys fail to notice is that with 15% interest in Aeris, Google will work to help Aeris suceeed. I’m sure down the road Google could reinvest that 2 billion for stronger interest within Aeris. This allows Google to work closely with the Cable box while remaining less threatening to the major providers.

    1. sounds plausible.

  9. Shouldn’t be long before they sell off the handset division too.

  10. Google doesn’t seem to be very interested in Google Tv.

  11. Truth is, with 15.7% of Arris after this deal is finalized, Google will be obviously partial owner. I say that to say this, with a seat on the companies board Google can still accomplish what they could have when they still owned the set top division of Motorola, without the headache of management.

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