Google could be well on its way to finalizing its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
Following the news earlier on Monday that the European Commission has cleared the way for the merger between the Android OS maker and its mobile OEM partner, now the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the deal as well.
Reported first via Twitter by Reuters technology correspondent Poornima Gupta, Google confirmed the news shortly later on its official blog.
The DOJ published a report after closing its investigation of this proposed merger as well as a few others, and all of them seem to have a common thread: patents.
After a thorough review of the proposed transactions, the Antitrust Division has determined that each acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition and has closed these three investigations. In all of the transactions, the division conducted an in-depth analysis into the potential ability and incentives of the acquiring firms to use the patents they proposed acquiring to foreclose competitors...
...The division’s investigations focused on whether the acquiring firms could use these patents to raise rivals’ costs or foreclose competition. The division concluded that the specific transactions at issue are not likely to significantly change existing market dynamics.
For reference, the other cases in question in this report were certain Nortel patent acquisitions by Apple, Microsoft and RIM, as well as Apple's interest in Novell patents.
Should Google get its wish and officially acquire Motorola Mobility, it will also get Motorola's portfolio of approximately 17,000 issued patents and 6,800 applications, including hundreds of patents relevant to wireless devices that Motorola Mobility committed to license through its participation in standard-setting organizations.
Not to mention that Google will also get a new hardware wing of its own for the development of mobile devices and more.