Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission gave Google
their respective blessings to acquire Motorola Mobility
for $12.5 billion, the two agencies said in separate announcements. Taking it one step further, the DoJ also said it would allow Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion (RIM) to purchase certain Nortel patents, and cleared the way for Apple to acquire certain Novell patents.
"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," the DoJ said in a statement. "In all of the transactions, the division conducted an in-depth analysis into the potential ability and incentives of the acquiring firms to use the patents they proposed acquiring to foreclose competitors."
The European Union couldn't come up with any valid competitive concerns either, at least as it pertains to Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, though the Commission did say it would be keeping a close watch on the market.
"We have approved the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google because, upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues," said Joaquin Alumnia
, Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy. "Of course, the Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents."
Google's $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility is largely seen as a patent grab as the sultan of search seeks to fend off increasing patent litigation from Apple over technology found in the company's Android platform. It's also a potential two-edged sword for Google's partners, who fear that Motorola may be given preferential treatment when it comes to new Android builds.