Google seeks European clearance for Motorola Mobility acquisition

Google is seeking assurances from European antitrust and anti-competition regulators, as it continues to work towards sealing the deal with its Motorola Mobility acquisition.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Google is seeking regulatory backing from the European Commission as it moves forward to acquire Motorola Mobility.

The search giant unveiled the $12.5 billion deal in August, where it announced it would acquire handset maker Motorola Mobility in a bid to boost its patent portfolio against rivals.

It was also seen as a manufacturing marriage, where by the software arm of Google would continue to develop the Android mobile operating system, whilst Motorola Mobility will develop hardware for its search giant parent company.

But Google said recently that the acquired arm of Motorola would be treated as a third-party smartphone maker, rather than a subsidiary of the larger search giant, in a bid to prevent tensions amongst other third-party smartphone partners such as Samsung or HTC.

Earlier this month, Motorola Mobility's shareholders overwhelmingly agreed to the Google takeover, with 99 percent of the shares voting at the meeting on November 17th in favour of the adoption of the merging agreement.

Google currently expects the acquisition to go ahead by early 2012, with European regulators set to decide by January 10th on whether it will approve the proposed takeover.

The U.S. Department of Justice continues its assessment of the merger, but has remained silent on the issue.

Historically, should a multi-national organisation receive a rubber-stamp from European regulators, thought to be one of the most strict anti-competition and antitrust authorities in the world, the U.S. regulators often independently follow suit.

But even today, the Justice Dept. though still has the opportunity to block such a merger from going ahead, citing reasons that it could create an unfair advantage for Google in the smartphone ecosystem, it is running out of time to weigh in its arguments.


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