Chicago: Google/Motorola Deal Could Spur Local Innovation

Chicago SkylineGoogle’s Acquisition of Motorola Rocks Chicago: In the most stunning lakeside tech news of the year, Google announced that it will acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, a 63 percent premium on the company’s August 12 closing stock price. The move is seen as Google’s attempt get deeply involved in the handset business as a way to further proliferate its already popular Android OS. (Google says it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.) The transaction will likely attract the attention of regulators as well as competitors like Microsoft, which is trying to gain ground with its own mobile OS, Windows Phone. Google via BusinessWire

How Will the Google Deal Impact Chicago Innovation? The Google move was destined to happen when Motorola Mobility split away from its parent, adopted Android as its platform, and had 17,000 patents as bait. While the area’s tech community has lacked a cluster of related companies evolving around Motorola, Chicago may now become a major battleground in the mobile wars. There could well be a boom in Chicago’s entrepreneurial and engineering community.

Tribune Developing a Tablet: The Tribune Company, one of the nation’s largest remaining newspaper chains, says it is working on a proprietary touchscreen tablet that it will offer to its subscribers. The company — which owns the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times and 23 TV stations — says its tablet will run a modified version of Android and be offered for free or a heavily subsidized price, possibly along with a wireless data plan, to loyal subscribers. CNN

$25 Billion for Groupon May Be Too Much: How much is Groupon really worth? Estimates in the neighborhood of $25 billion seem to be high, says Benchmark Analyst Fred Moran, who notes that the company’s revenue streams are still weak. While it can be hard to value such a fast-growing company, one important data point is that Groupon could generate $3.96 billion in revenue this year, which would make its market value of $25 billion, roughly six times its sales. The Chicago Tribune

ComEd Must Compete With Cheaper Electricity: Nicor is planning to offer electricity 14 percent cheaper than Commonwealth Edison. The company has a licensing agreement with Virginia-based Dominion Resources, which will use Nicor’s name to market electricity to 3.4 million residential ComEd customers in Northern Illinois. ComEd will actually deliver the power, read meters, bill customers and handle outages and emergencies. So far, 10 other companies challenging ComEd have signed only 83,000 customers. Chicago Business