Google-owned Motorola has confirmed the smartphone maker will close its South Korean operations in the new year. The decision is part of a continuous global restructuring move by parent company Google, which purchased the firm for $12.5 billion last year. Consequently, Motorola Mobility will cut 500 jobs in the process, with those losing their jobs receiving compensatory redundancy packages.
"On December 10, 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," it said. "The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global research and development efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively."
It also stressed that it was a "difficult but necessary decision," as well as the fact that its home business and iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) market operations will continue to operate within the region.
Motorola has already made 4,000 employees outside of the U.S. redundant, with a third of its 90 offices around the globe closed. Google also recently shut all of its international websites. Google's main reason for acquiring the firm was to obtain access to Moto's portfolio of 17,000 patents. This contributed to, for the first time since its inception, the company's spending more on patents than on R&D of new products. However, the price will soon be challenged in court. Google may discover it paid too much for the patents or snagged a bargain, with a court set to decide the how much they're actually worth.