The acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google has been given the green light and thumbs up from the European Union today. This unconditional regulatory approval will allow Google to purchase the device maker and patent holding company for a grand total of $12.5 billion USD. We knew the day was today, February 13th and now the official OK has just been approved.
This is good news for Google, coming right from the European Commission. In addition to the EU, Google also needs the approval from the US Justice Department -- also expecting to come today. And we can't forget the Chinese and Taiwan regulators either. So while this is a step in the right direction, it isn't a done deal just yet but most likely it will be a smooth transition.
While the EU did give the ok they have their concerns and were cautious. Here is what Joaquin Almunia from the European Commission had to say:
“We have approved the acquisition… because upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues. 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. This is our worry. We might be obliged to open some cases in the future. This is not enough to block the merger but we will be vigilant.” – Almunia
Motorola’s 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending patent applications will soon be acquired by Google and should help them defend themselves and the Android ecosystem as a whole from lawsuits and more from their rivals at Apple and Microsoft. We aren't sure what the future holds, or if this was just Google playing defense and offense at the same time. Things are about to get interesting that is for sure. We should be hearing more details from the others and their approvals later so stay tuned.