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Google Says Almost Half of Motorola Purchase Price for Patents

Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, said less than half of the $12.4 billion it paid for Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. was devoted to patents and technology.

Of the total, $5.5 billion was attributed to patents and “developed technology,” Google wrote in a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Another $2.6 billion relates to goodwill, which Google defined as the financial benefit it expects to derive from the acquisition.

The Motorola Mobility acquisition, which closed in May, shores up Google’s patent portfolio to help it combat legal challenges against the Android mobile operating system. Motorola Mobility, which has more than 17,000 patents, also helps Google enter the hardware market to compete more directly with Apple Inc. and other smartphone manufacturers.

“The acquisition is expected to protect and advance our Android ecosystem and enhance competition in mobile computing,” the company said in the filing.

Google also said $730 million of the acquisition price reflected customer relationships and $670 million was related to other assets. The company also acquired $2.9 billion in cash.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, fell 1.3 percent to $607.57 at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 5.9 percent this year.

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