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Google gets Chinese approval for Motorola take out

It’s patent party time
Mon May 21 2012, 12:12
Google has won Chinese approval for its Motorola purchase

CHINESE AUTHORITIES have approved Google's buyout of Motorola Mobility and its patent portfolio.

Chinese regulators approved the $12.5bn deal with a caveat, that the Android operating system must remain available for free to anyone that wants it for five years.

Even with that it's a big move forward for the firm's plan to increase its patent library to the tune of 17,000.

The purchase won approval in the US back in February when the US Federal Trade Commission said it was happy with what it had seen and read about the deal.

"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.

"The division concluded that the specific transactions at issue are not likely to significantly change existing market dynamics."

Unlike their Chinese counterparts, the European Commission competition regulators were not worried about any impact on the mobile market, and approved the deal with no caveats.

"We have approved the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google because, upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues," said Joaquín Almunia, European Commission VP in charge of competition policy.

"Of course, the Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behaviour of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents."

The acquisition is Google's biggest ever and sees it acquire a significant number of patents. The firm has always said that it would rather avoid an intellectual property arms race and only invests in patents for defensive reasons. µ


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