US, EU approve Google purchase of Motorola Mobility
(WASHINGTON) - The US Justice Department's antitrust division gave the green light on Monday to Internet giant Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
The Justice Department announcement, which came hours after European regulators approved the transaction, said it was "unlikely to substantially lessen competition" or to "significantly change existing market dynamics."
In addition to approving the Google-Motorola Mobility deal, the department said it was closing its investigations into the purchase by Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion of Nortel Networks patents and the acquisition by Apple of Novell 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," it said.
"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," it said.
European Union regulators announced their approval of the purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google earlier Monday.
"We have approved the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google because, upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues," said Joaquin Almunia, the EU's antitrust commissioner.
An investigation centered on whether Google might make it harder for handset manufacturers such as Samsung or HTC to use the mobile operating system Google developed, Android.
"It is unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola, a minor player in the European Economic Area (EEA)," the Commission concluded.
The Commission said that Google "already had many ways in which to incentivize customers to take up its services and that the acquisition of Motorola would not materially change this."
Welcoming the European Commission approval, Google deputy general counsel Don Harrison said "the combination of Google and Motorola Mobility will help supercharge Android.
"It will also enhance competition and offer consumers faster innovation, greater choice and wonderful user experiences," Harrison said in a blog post.
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