Google may spin off Motorola set-top box business

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Google has reportedly received multiple offers for its Motorola set-top box division. 

The division isn't exactly booming, so Mountain View is apparently looking to sell off certain assets of its relatively recent Motorola Mobility acquisition to better allow the company to "focus on high end smartphones as it steps up competition with Apple."

As you may recall, Motorola's set-top box business was purchased by Google in a deal worth $12.5 billion last year. At the time, some believed  the set-top box business was one of the primary components of Motorola Mobility that Google was most interested in, as it was thought the division could help Mountain View promote its nascent TV operating system. 

According to Bloomberg, companies interested in buying the Motorola set-top box division include Arris Group Inc. and Pace Plc. Both industry heavyweights manufacture cable equipment. Interestingly, reports indicate that Google might provide financing to prospective buyers to help finalize the deal. Bloomberg analysts estimate there is a 50-50 chance Google will manage to sell off the set-top box division before the end of the year.

When Google launched its TV platform in 2010, many industry watchers had high hopes for the operating system. Unfortunately, sales have been less-than-stellar, and the platform hasn't really met Mountain View's expectations, internal or otherwise. 

While it appears that Google may be looking to pare down its direct involvement in the hardware side of the set-top box market, Apple has made it clear that television is a market it intends to pursue - with a number of recent reports indicating Cupertino is currently prepping a full-fleged HDTV.