Google passes final hurdle for Motorola merger
Move officially gives Internet search giant the thumbs-up to close Motorola Mobility deal
Google has received approval from Chinese authorities to pursue its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a move that marks the completion of the deal's global review process and officially gives the Internet search giant the thumbs-up to move forward.
With China officially on board, the deal could close as early as this week, say some reports granting Google full ownership over Motorola's patent portfolio. Google had gained approval from U.S and European authorities in February 2012.
When Google first revealed its plans to acquire Motorola in August 2011, CEO Larry Page positioned it as an opportunity to up the competition in the mobile phone market and grow its Android operating system, which runs on devices from a range of handset makers including Motorola, Samsung and HTC.
"Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies," Page said in a statement then. "Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers."
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Chinese antitrust regulators only green-lighted the deal at the weekend under the condition that Google continues to make its Android OS widely available to all smartphone markers and not just Motorola over the next five years.
Google agreed to meet these conditions and emphasised its earlier commitment to keep Android an open platform, regardless of the merger.
"This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open," the company said last August. "We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android's success, and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences."