Google to buy Motorola Mobility, gets EU, US green signal
Google Inc is set to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for a sum of $12.5 billion. The deal got its final nod from the US and European regulators in February. However, the regulators said that they would keep a vigil on the world’s largest Smartphone software maker to ensure important patents are licensed at reasonable prices.
Google, whose Android the top functioning operating system for internet enabled Smartphones, revealed its plan to purchase phone-maker Motorola for its 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, in August last year. Experts view Google’s acquisition bid as a policy to compete with rival Apple and defend itself and Android phone manufacturers in patent litigation.
This is the largest acquisition by Google in its history and will simultaneously mark the internet search engine penetration into the hardware business. However, regulators in China, Taiwan and Israel have still not signed off on the Google purchase of Motorola.
“This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices. This is our worry,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters in Brussels.
“Google’s commitments have been less clear,” US Justice Department added in a statement. “The division determined that the acquisition of the patents by Google did not substantially lessen competition, but how Google may exercise its patents in the future remains a significant concern.”
With this deal Google will earn ownership rights to the mobile industry’s largest patent libraries along with hardware manufacturing operations that will pave way for the company to build its indigenous range of Smartphones.
The search engine giant that has lately entered the mobile market is already fighting a (up to) $6 billion patent infringement suit by Oracle Corp.
Google proceeded with its move to buy Motorola after it failed to acquire the patents of the Canadian Nortel Networks Corporation.
In recent times various regulatory authorities have been increasing their scrutiny over Google that runs the world’s number 1 search engine company.