Motorola Mobility sold by Google to Lenovo

Google is selling Motorola’s smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that makes Google’s biggest acquisition look like its most expensive mistake.

The deal announced Wednesday will rid Google Inc. of a financial headache that has plagued it since it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion in 2012. Motorola has lost nearly $2 billion since Google took over, while trimming its workforce from 20,000 to 3,800.

Google had recovered some of the money it spent by selling the company’s set-top operations last year to Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion.

While Google is backpedaling, China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. is gearing up for a major expansion. Already the world’s largest maker of personal computers, Lenovo now appears determined to become a bigger player in smartphones.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is new company name

Chrysler and Fiat will be known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV as they move forward as a single company.

Fiat’s board of directors agreed on the new name Wednesday, with headquarters for tax purposes in the United Kingdom. But the board sidestepped the thorny political issue of whether the true headquarters would be in the United States or Italy.

Fiat and Chrysler also announced fourth-quarter results. Chrysler’s strong profits once again propped up its parent company, which otherwise would have lost money.

Starbucks CEO to focus on customer loyalty

Starbucks says CEO Howard Schultz will spend more time focusing on mobile payments, loyalty cards and other digital projects of increasing importance for the coffee chain.

The announcement comes after the Seattle-based company recently noted that it saw a “seismic” shift to online shopping during the holiday season, meaning fewer opportunities for people to stop in at its cafes.

Schultz says Starbucks is using its mobile payment apps, its loyalty program and gift cards to deepen relationships with customers and get them to visit more often.

– From news service reports