European Commission Approves Google's Motorola Mobility Acquisition [Update: USA Too]

by

Google has received approval from the European Union for its planned purchase of Motorola Mobility. This is one of a number of governmental approvals that Google needs before the purchase can continue, including sign-offs from the governments of Israel, Taiwan, China, and the United States. The U.S. Justice Department is expected to approve the acquisition this week.


Reuters:

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," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

But Almunia said he was worried about the possibility of abuse of patents by Google and other firms now involved in a series of legal disputes over intellectual property rights.

Last year, Google announced its would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. If the acquisition proceeds, Google would gain control of thousands of Motorola's wireless patents, along with its handset manufacturing business, among a number of other components.

Google would also take charge of a number of lawsuits that Motorola is currently participating in, including a number involving Apple.

Update: The United States Department of Justice has signed off on the acquisition as well.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
111 months ago
understandable...

It's not evil, just necessary if you're in the corner of supporting Android to it's fullest potential.

It appears that Google needs to acquire Motorola Mobility in order to expand it's patent portfolio and protect it's future product devices from legal attacks. I don't personally care much for the Android platform but this seems to make sense from a Google business perspective.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
A likely scenario: Samsung forks Android

I wonder if Google will drop Samsung as the "flagship" phone creator and now use themselves since they now own a hardware creator.


Google wouldn't officially state that. They'd want to string Samsung along, since they're crushing all other Android hardware makers (at the high end.) Some people have said that Samsung could dictate Android features and strategy to Google because their slice of the Android pie is biggest. But when it comes down to it, I doubt Google would favor Samsung over Motorola Mobility, despite Samsung's dominant position among Android device makers. And Samsung would likely tire of constantly complaining about missing features and/or conflicting Android roadmap wish lists.

If Samsung decides that Google is favoring Motorola or ignoring their feature requests or otherwise doing something with Android that doesn't line up with Samsung's strategy, they could "pull an Amazon." They could easily create their own custom, proprietary, closed fork of Android. Like Amazon did with Kindle Fire.

It would be catastrophic for Google if the leading Android hardware maker created their own fork of Android and ignored subsequent releases from Google. Especially if, like Amazon, Samsung's fork of Android didn't send customer information back to Google. Customer info is what many of the major tech companies and e-tailers are fighting over. It's a gold mine.

Android's main purpose, from Google's perspective, is to serve as a platform for ads. And knowing each user better is the key to serving up more relevant ads to them. Android's main purpose, from Amazon's perspective, is to generate sales of physical and digital goods from Amazon.com. Amazon tracks customers' sales histories, product affinities, and browsing patterns with their proprietary Silk browser. And they send none of that back to Google. Amazon learns more and more about their Kindle Fire customers. Google doesn't. Too bad, since Kindle Fire now dominates the low-end Android "padlet" market.

Samsung could do the same. Fork Android, customize it, and fine-tune it for their specific hardware. Then, over time, Samsung could work on building an iTunes-like, App Store-like, iCloud-like infrastructure. It would add value to Samsung products the way Apple's infrastructure adds value to iDevices and Macs. And Samsung's infrastructure would help them understand their customers better, to yes, serve up more relevant ads to them. Completely independently from Google.

So where would Motoroogle end up after all this? After Samsung runs off with their own proprietary, closed, optimized version of Android? Well, I suppose there could be a "reference" Android RAZR phone every few years, running the vanilla version of whatever Android release is current. And I suppose they would be about as successful as the Nexus phones have been so far.

Worth $12.5 billion? Hardly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
The European Commission wants to know why this is in the Mac blog? :confused:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

Google just got evil-er.


Competition is good. Now, there is another competitor who replaces Nokia having software and hardware in-house. I don't think they are evil just because they take the next step to advance.

Apple and Google could actually grow up, cross-license their patents and reserve new patents for the first 6 months or so and then thrive the technology on mobile devices. Just immagine the possibilities: 2 American companies competing for having the last notch on each other's device! Would not be the first time: Intel and AMD, for example, cross license things like 64bit, SSE, etc. and together rule the market on PC - and even Apple cannot go past those two when it comes to desktop and server processors. Granted, they faught each other in court, but overall, they support each other with cross-licensing.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
The DOJ just approved the Nortel patents buy by Apple, Microsoft and RIM too.


http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/13/doj-greenlights-bid-by-apple-microsoft-and-rim-to-buy-nortel-pa/#continued

I see an interesting war brewing.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
US regulators just OK'd the deal too.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...