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.