Google's relationship to Motorola is like Michael Corleone's relationship to his brother Fredo: You're stuck with him -- for now, anyway -- but you can't allow him to play an important role. So you make him into a nightclub promoter, giving him some money to spend. Hence the rumored fat marketing budget for the overpriced Moto X.
If Samsung got the slightest whiff that Google was giving special privilege to Motorola, it could trigger Samsung going on an all-out war against Google. That's something Google needs as much as another antitrust lawsuit, which is to say it needs to be avoided at all cost.
Make no mistake about it: Google is keeping Samsung fully briefed about what is going to happen with Motorola. Google can't afford Samsung feeling betrayed, which would result in a possible collapse of the Android ecosystem as we know it. Motorola is but a pawn in this shadow-boxing game, sort of like a Switzerland's role in World War 2 and the Cold War alike.
Or like Fredo Corleone.Google's relationship with Samsung had started to crack in the year leading up to March 2013. By April, Google's leadership traveled to South Korea and something happened -- suddenly Google and Samsung were best friends. Surely there were many pieces to such a peace deal, but assuring Samsung that Motorola wouldn't be used to hurt it materially was likely one component of this peace treaty. Motorola is a decent device that's not priced to sell. That's by design. At the time of publication the author was long GOOG, AAPL and QCOM. Follow @antonwahlman This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV