It's been seven weeks since Google announced its intention to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, and still no one outside the company can quite agree on just what Google's driving motivation was. Fresh off his appearance at a Senatorial hearing and speaking to Bloomberg TV's Erik Schatzker, executive chairman Eric Schmidt chimes in to say the company won't "play favorites in the way people are concerned about… The Android ecosystem is the number one priority, and that we won't do anything with Motorola, or anyone else by the way, that would screw up the dynamics of that industry."

Schmidt goes on to claim that while the 17,000 gained patents will indeed "bulk up" its portfolio and hopefully bring about a stalemate to end all the litigation (a "rough truce with everybody else," as he puts it), it was not the main reason they picked up the company. "The majority of the reasoning had to do with the fact that we benefit by having a hardware partner at Google who knows how to build the next generation of tablets and phones," he said — and if you think that sounds a bit off when matched to his "won't play favorites" mantra, you're not alone. (For his part, HTC chief Peter Chou has gone on the record calling the acquisition "good news," at least regarding Android’s augmented patent portfolio.)

This isn't far from the company's long-standing line on the matter. For its part, the company has maintained that the cocktail of reason was one part patent portfolio and two parts hardware expertise, with a dash of constant public reassurance its soon-to-be-adopted manufacturer wouldn't get preferential treatment. Still, however much of a rehash Schmidt's words are, this is really the first solid quote we've gotten on the matter — and probably the one we'll be hearing over and over again in the years to come.