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Google puts deadline on bids for Motorola set-top biz -- report

The company has apparently set a deadline on bids for today but could still decide to extend it, according to WSJ.

Google's apparent solicitation of bids for Motorola's set-top box business could come to an end later today.

Google has been accepting bids for Motorola's operation for some time but has set a deadline on the last bid round for today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people who are familiar with the dealings. The Journal's sources said that Google may extend the deadline if the offers aren't up to par, though.

According to the Journal's sources, Google expects the bids to reach between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, though they could go as high as $2.5 billion.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility in May for $12.5 billion. When Google first announced the deal last year, it made clear that it was acquiring Motorola for its intellectual property in the smartphone industry. Motorola's set-top box business, which builds hardware for cable providers, generates solid cash for the company, but is believed to be plagued by low growth opportunities.

For its part, Google hasn't publicly confirmed that it's shopping Motorola's set-top box operation. However, several reports have been surfacing over the months suggesting that that's the case. The Journal's sources say a host of companies, including telecommunications equipment maker Arris Group and set-top box company Pace, will place their bids.

CNET has contacted Google for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.