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Google’s proposed takeover of Motorola’s handset business has received the green light from EC and US regulatory authorities, bringing the $12.5bn (£7.9bn) deal significantly closer to completion.

Late yesterday, the US Department of Justice announced its approval of the pairing just hours after the European Commission said the proposed deal complied with EU Merger Regulations.

Both said that Google, the creator of the open-source Android ecosystem, taking over Motorola’s handset business was unlikely to significantly impact the competitive nature of the wireless devices market.

Similar rulings from regulators in the Middle and Far East are needed before the acquisition can close.

A summation of the EC ruling read, “Given that Google’s core business model is to push its online and mobile services and software to the widest possible audience, it is unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola, a minor player in the European Economic Area (EEA) as compared to operators such as Samsung and HTC.”

Meanwhile, the US regulator’s investigations looked at how the deal would let Google use Motorola’s library of patents to raise rivals’ costs or impede competition. 

“The division concluded that the specific transactions at issue are not likely to significantly change existing market dynamics,” read the Department of Justice ruling. “The division will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action to stop any anticompetitive use of standard essential patents rights.”

Google announced its intention to purchase Motorola Mobility, the US company’s handset unit, in August in order to  “supercharge” its Android brand (nma.co.uk 15 August 2011).


Published 14 February, 2012 by NMA Staff

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