Google Gets Europe's OK to Buy Motorola

But regulators in EU, United States will monitor for antitrust

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 14, 2012 12:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Google's $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility Holdings, announced last August, finally cleared regulators in Europe and the United States yesterday, reports Reuters. But as Motorola owns so many patents that are vital to the telecommunications industry, regulators said they would monitor Google to ensure it continued to license that tech at fair prices. Google has said that a major reason for buying Motorola was to get its hands on Motorola's 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications. The deal is also Google's biggest venture into hardware yet.

"This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices," said the EU competition commissioner. Regulators in China, Taiwan, and Israel have not yet approved the deal. "If Google makes it more difficult for new technologies to emerge, by locking-in existing licensees of the patents so that it becomes not profitable for them to adopt other technologies, that's the kind of thing that might give rise to antitrust scrutiny down the road," says an intellectual property lawyer.

A general view at the Motorola booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A general view at the Motorola booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   (Getty Images)
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