Google wants to shop Motorola's TV set-top biz around

Google has hired bankers to help it with a potential sale of the Motorola Mobility unit, according to Bloomberg.

Google appears itching to get rid of the television set-top box business it inherited from the acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

The Internet search giant has hired Barclays to help it find buyers, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources and said the home business unit might fetch $2 billion.

That Google wants to sell Motorola's set-top box business and focus on smartphones isn't surprising; speculation of its desire to shed the business has popped up on numerous occasions. Google instead wants to mine Motorola's patent portfolio for a more potent legal weapon against Apple, as well as focus on mobile devices with the smartphone and tablet business.

Light Reading Cable also reported earlier this month that Google wanted to put up the assets, and valued them at $2 billion.

Motorola is holding its first phone event as a Google unit next week , at which it is expected to unveil a new smartphone alongside Verizon Wireless. It is also planning an event with Intel later next month.

While Android smartphones fit into Google's strategy, the set-top box business isn't an area that the company wants to put too many resources behind, especially as there doesn't appear to be much overlap between that business and its own Google TV initiative.

Motorola makes set-top boxes used by cable providers to deliver video -- a business that offers solid cash, but little growth.

Motorola declined to comment to CNET, saying it doesn't comment on rumor and speculation.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. PT: to include a response from Motorola.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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