the patent battles imposed by apple, oracle, and surely microsoft in the background have been making android steadily more expensive, as HTC found out -- they are now paying undisclosed sums to license technologies from various companies. so the pitch "android is free" is under attack -- and the more success it has in the marketplace, the more others will try to destroy it.
google has been feeling the heat with apple, microsoft etc thwarting its attempted purchase of nortel's trove of patents. it has even complained to the justice department that it is was under unfair competitive attack. i guess that was a pre-emptive tactic to get the SEC etc to easily approve this proposed acquisition of motorola mobility.
so where does this leave the big android OEMs, like samsung, htc etc? they now have to compete directly with google's branded phones, which prospect they probably do not appreciate. unless google keeps motorola mobility at arms length with a bamboo wall between the hardware and software arms. which may make a lot of sense.