Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said today that it will buy Symbol Technologies for $3.9 billion.
A Chicago Tribune story surmised that Motorola is buying Symbol, a leading maker of bar code readers and rugged mobile computers, to compete more effectively in the enterprise. Motorola is known today mostly as a consumer products company, the second largest handset manufacturer in the world after Nokia.
But I wonder if something bigger may be going on.
This summer, Motorola purchased NextNet Wireless, a company developing WiMax equipment, from Kirkland-based Clearwire for an undisclosed amount of money. It also made a more than $300 million investment in Clearwire, which is providing WiMax-like services in about 30 cities around the country.
At the minimum, the company seems to shaking things up a bit. As the Chicago Tribune points out, the Symbol acquisition is the largest it has completed in six years.