China clears Google, Motorola merger: Deal to close 'within days'

Summary:Following China's approval of the deal, Google is set to acquire smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion as soon as this coming week.

Chinese antitrust and competition regulators have cleared Google's move to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, completing the worldwide regulatory review process.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the Chinese government had given the merger the green light on Saturday. The deal is set to close early in this coming week.

The deal had to be approved by a series of regulators around the world, not limited to the United States and Europe.

Both authorities across the pond cleared the deal within hours of each other in February, leaving Israel, Taiwan, and China to mull over the deal.

China was the last hurdle in the chain of regulators to approve the merger. A second phase of the review caused the investigation to be delayed, as tensions between Google and the Chinese continued to stir.

After all, it comes only a couple of years after Google accused the Chinese government of hacking its networks, which led the search company to famously leaving the country altogether.

The Associated PressReuters, and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that to attain China's approval of the merger, Google had to agree to make Android "free and open" for at least the next five years, presumably to keep Google--Motorola from denying other handset makers access to the mobile operating system or from giving Motorola-made handsets an advantage over competing devices.

The move is significant for Google, as it allows the Android mobile operating system maker --- which has the majority of the global mobile market share --- to complete the smartphone ecosystem by acquiring handset maker Motorola Mobility.

Google will also receive Motorola's vast portfolio of around 17,000 patents and 6,800 pending applications in the deal.

Related:

Topics: Banking, Google, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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