Google closes in on Motorola Mobility acquisition
- By Henry Kenyon
- Feb 15, 2012
Google is on its way to becoming even more ubiquitous, with the European Commission’s go ahead for the firm’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The EU cleared Google for the purchase, but stated that it would be keeping a sharp eye on the search engine giant and other firms in the market over the strategic use of patents.
The goal behind the purchase of Motorola Mobility is to provide the hardware development and design expertise to essentially supercharge Google’s Android mobile operating system, said Don Harrison, Google’s vice president and deputy general counsel in a blog post.
Motorola is moving most of its devices to Android and, according to its initial announcement in August 2011, Google made the move because of the synergies between Android and a dedicated hardware manufacturer. The deal also strengthens Google’s market share and creates a broad ecosystem for Android because the firm will receive more than 17,000 patents, which will strengthen its hand in patent disputes with competitors Apple and Microsoft, ZDNet reported.
Google, with its Android mobile operating system, and Motorola have drawn the interest of the Defense Department and other government agencies in their efforts to incorporate mobile devices.
DOD has developed a hardened version of the Android OS for use in mobile devices in the field. And Motorola recently unveiled a smart phone with hardware and software encryption that meets National Security Agency and FIPS 140-2 standards.
The European Commission announcement follows a Feb. 13 release by the Justice Department’s antitrust division clearing Google for the acquisition. Priced at $12.5 billion, this is Google’s biggest purchase and its most significant step into the hardware end of the business, Reuters reported. With DOJ's approval, Google now only needs to clear a few smaller hurdles from other jurisdictions, specifically regulators in Israel and Taiwan before it can fully close the deal, ZDNet reported.