Libertyville, Ill. - Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility took a big step toward completion by getting antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union, but the companies must still get approval from China and several other countries before the deal goes through.
Though the U.S. and EU approved the purchase but said they would monitor the companies to ensure that Google licenses essential patents owned by Motorola for such standards as cellular and Wi-Fi to cellphone competitors on a fair and reasonable basis.
When the merger agreement was announced in August, Google said it expected the transaction to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Under the purchase agreement, Motorola Mobility will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Google and be run as a separate business. The purchase price is around $12.5 billion.
Google sought money-losing Motorola for the handset maker's thousands of mobile-phone patents, which gives Google leverage to dissuade smartphone OS rivals Apple and Microsoft from lodging more patent-infringement actions against Google's Android smartphone licensees, analysts said.