Google has announced plans to shut down most of Motorola Mobility's operations in South Korea. The move will result in layoffs for about 500 workers.
The Next Web's Jon Russell reported, "Motorola Mobility is to close down almost all of its operations in South Korea next year as its reorganization under the ownership of Google continues. The phone maker will keep 10 percent of its local R&D staff, who will be offered relocation packages. Two business units will remain, but the company will cease selling and marketing mobile devices. The announcement is part of the company’s global reshuffle which has seen it layoff approximately 4,000 employees and close down of most of its international websites less than a month ago. Korea was one of the few places to have a Motorola Mobility research and design center, and this will also close."
PCMag's Stephanie Mlot added, "A Motorola spokeswoman confirmed the changes today, saying in an email that the company has begun the restructuring process. 'On December 10th, we began communicating to staff in Korea our plans to close most of our operations in Korea, including our research and development and consumer mobile device marketing organization,' the spokeswoman said. 'The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global R&D efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively.'"
The Verge's Aaron Souppouris noted, "Motorola isn't the first company to flee from Korea — HTC pulled out of the region back in July. In a statement given to the press, Motorola Mobility said 'this was a difficult but necessary decision' and confirmed that it will stop selling mobile devices in Korea, as well as ceasing all R&D efforts in the region."
In a separate but related story, Bloomberg's Serena Saitto and Brian Womack reported, "Arris Group Inc. (ARRS) and Pace Plc (PIC) have made the most compelling bids for Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Motorola Home Business, which sells set-top boxes and equipment to cable- television providers, a person familiar with the situation said. Google, which has been trying to sell the unit, received multiple offers on Dec. 7, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. A deal has a 50-50 chance of being announced by year-end or postponed because of a complicated financing structure that involves Google retaining some equity and the unit’s patents, the person said. Pace said it made a bid and that it’s halting the trading of its stock."