Google, Motorola merger review suspended by European regulators

European antitrust regulators have suspended an investigation into Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility to ask for more details.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

European regulators have temporarily suspended its antitrust review of Google's plans to buy Motorola Mobility.

Android-maker Google sought reassurances from Europe anti-competition and antitrust authorities late last month as it moved to acquire the hardware maker for $12.5 billion.

But the antitrust authority is seeking further information about the deal before it can proceed.

Once the regulators receives "certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction", a spokesperson for Europe's executive body the European Commission said today, the investigation will continue.

A filing on the Commission's website today showed that the investigation was halted on December 6th, nearly a week ago.

Update: In a statement, Google said seemingly cautiously: "We’re confident the Commission will conclude that this acquisition is good for competition and we’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review."

According to Bloomberg, Google plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for its 17,000 patents to protect its Android mobile operating system, and to bolster the company against legal disputes against its rival Apple.

A notification published in the European Law Journal says that the Commission "invites interested third parties" to submit their comments and observations on what Europe's executive body should do next.

The U.S. Department for Justice continues to assess the merger, but has not yet publicly stated its position on the proposed merger.

The Justice Dept. still has the opportunity to block a merger from going ahead.

Should the government department believe that the merger could harm other Android partners such as HTC or Samsung, or even the direct competition such as Apple, it could sue Google to prevent the case from going forward.

Google recently said that it would treat Motorola Mobility as a third-party smartphone maker rather than a subsidiary of its parent company, in a bid to appease regulators that may see unfair advantage on the horizon.


Editorial standards