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Google begins another round of layoffs at Motorola Mobility

The smartphone division and patent trove plans to lay off 1,200 employees, about 10 percent of its work force.

Google is cutting back at Motorola Mobility again, with plans to layoff 1,200 employees, about 10 percent of the division's work force.

Employees were notified of the cuts this week via an e-mail that said "while we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges," according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the cuts.

Focusing on costs, the e-mail added "we're operating in markets where we're not competitive and we're losing money." The cuts are expected to workers in the U.S., China and India.

Motorola confirmed the jobs cuts in a statement this evening.

"These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer," the company said. "It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition."

Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion last May, motivated largely by the opportunity to get access to Motorola's valuable patent portfolio, which it has employed in its legal defense of the Android operating system. Google freely admitted paying a premium for such access, but since then, the company has been looking to cut costs.

Google sold the Motorola Home set-top business -- which it inherited as part of its acquisition -- to the Arris Group last December for $2.35 billion in cash and stock. The Web giant had apparently been shopping the business for several months.

The staff reduction comes a little more than six months after Motorola laid off 4,000 employees, about 20 percent of its work force. The reorganization announced last August included the closure of a third of the company's 94 offices, as well as a wireless strategy revamp that included exiting unprofitable markets and trimming the number of handsets it produces.