By Telecom Lead Team:
Google, maker of Android operating system, has won approvals from the European
and U.S. regulators for its planned $12.5 billion purchase of mobile handset
maker Motorola Mobility.
Both the regulators,
however, said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure
patents critical to the telecommunications industry would be licensed at fair
After giving the
approval, the EU executive, which acts as the competition regulator for the
27-member European Union, said the deal would not significantly change the
market for operating systems and patents for these devices.
“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,” said Joaquin Almunia,
competition commissioner of EU.
The US Justice
Department said it was reassured by Apple’s and Microsoft’s public statements
that they would not seek injunctions in filing infringement lawsuits based on
the Nortel patents.
In a statement the
Justice Department added that Google’s commitments have been less clear. The
division determined that the acquisition of the patents by Google did not
substantially lessen competition, but how Google may exercise its patents in
the future remains a significant concern.
Regulators in China,
Taiwan and Israel have still not signed off on the Google purchase of Motorola.
Chinese regulators are
expected to decide by March 20 whether to approve the deal or start a third
phase of review, according to a source close to the situation.
whose Android software is the top operating system for Internet-enabled smart
phones, announced in August last year that it would buy phone-maker Motorola
for its 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, as it looks to compete
with rivals such as Apple and defend itself and Android phone manufacturers in