EU approves Google's Motorola buy-out £319
13th Feb 2012 | 20:52
But will watch out for patent abuse
Google's takeover of Motorola moved a step closer on Monday when EU regulators gave the company 'unconditional approval' to proceed with the deal.
The planned $12.5bn Googarola deal was announced in August 2011 and since then has been under scrutiny from regulatory commissions worldwide to ensure it doesn't break competition rules.
"We have approved the acquisition because upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues," said Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner, in a statement.
The deal now needs approval from the United States, Taiwan and Israel before it can be rubber stamped.
No patent abuses, please
However, upon approving the transaction, the EU body says it'll be keeping an eye on Google to ensure it doesn't abuse the Motorola patents it will be acquiring in the deal.
"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," Alumnia told the press.
"We might be obliged to open some cases in the future. This is not enough to block the merger but we will be vigilant."
Part of Google's reasoning for splashing out on Motorola - which is plans to run as a separate company - was to protect its Android ecosystem from patent infringement lawsuits already engulfing the Apple vs Android battle.