Ina Fried

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Motorola Split Set for Jan. 4

Breaking up is, well, a lot of paperwork.

Motorola filed the details Tuesday afternoon on its plan to split itself in two. The spinoff of the cellphone unit will take place Jan. 4, with holders getting one share of the mobile unit, known as Motorola Mobility, for every eight shares of Motorola they own. The remaining Motorola company will then have a one-for-seven reverse stock split, which would have the effect of boosting the per-share price (but not the inherent value) of the suddenly smaller company.

The split will be made before the market opens on Jan. 4 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 21.

“Today’s announcement marks another important milestone toward the upcoming separation that is expected to benefit Motorola, its stockholders, as well as each company’s respective customers and employees,” Motorola’s co-CEOs Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha said in a statement. “We look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities before us as we begin the new year as two independent, publicly traded companies.”

Motorola Mobility will trade under the ticker symbol MMI, while the remaining Motorola, known as Motorola Solutions, will use the ticker symbol MSI.

Whether all this splitting and name changing will boost the company’s value remains to be seen.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work