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Google Buys Motorola for ‘Superpower’ Status in Feud With Apple

Google Inc. is relying on its planned $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. to forestall patent litigation and force settlements with Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. over smartphone technology.

Google cited patent disputes as key to its agreement to buy Motorola Mobility, announced yesterday. Apple, maker of the iPhone, and Microsoft, developer of Windows Phone software, have targeted phones that run on Google’s best-selling Android system, including handsets built by Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp., in lawsuits worldwide.