Google looks at selling part of Motorola unit

Narrowing their focus.

According to Bloomberg, Google is planning to sell off the Motorola Mobility business unit that manufactures set-top boxes and other home-networking gear. Sources close to the matter say the company has hired Barclays to negotiate the sale and it could fetch as much as $2 billion. The move would allow Motorola to become more focused on designing smartphones to compete with the iPhone and run on Google’s Android software.

It was originally reported earlier this month that Google was looking to sell the unit, which Motorola tried to sell three years ago for more than $4 billion. Google agreed to purchase Motorola last year after losing out on an auction for Nortel Networks’ patent portfolio. The Motorola purchase landed Google more than 17,000 patents, a key asset as the intellectual war property heats up.

Google CEO Larry Page and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook have discussed patent disputes between the two according to sources close to the matter. Both Google and Apple declined to comment.

Google (GOOG : NASDAQ : US$682.64), Net Change: -5.37, % Change: -0.78%, Volume: 1,393,280

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