Google is in talks to purchase Motorola Mobility for $2.5 billion. The deal will give the search giant its own in-house hardware manufacturer, allowing it to better do battle with Apple, a company that also controls the software and hardware of its iPhone smartphone, and Microsoft who just made a deal with Nokia. Google will also inherit a large number of patents—around 17,000—which will help fight off future IP lawsuits similar to the ones it currently finds itself in the middle of with Microsoft and Apple. 

While the acquistion of Motorola's mobile division—the arm responsible for the popular Verizon Droid phones as well as the AT&T Atrix—will give Google a strong foothold in handware market, it claims it will not change its relationship with the other Android handset makers like HTC and Samsung. Samsung currently builds the "Official Google Phone", the Nexus S. Google says its popular mobile operating system will remain as open as it is now.

Google plans to run Motorola Mobility as a separate company. There's no word on how the merger will affect Motorola handset production in the near future.

[via Google, WSJ]