It’s Valentines day and it seems that the merger between Google and Motorola might be pushing through as EU and US anti-trust regulators have finally approved of the merger. Since last August, Google Inc. had it made known that it was planning to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. With it comes the Motorola’s 17, 000 patents, 7, 500 patent application and of course Motorola’s expertise in making phones. This move was seen as a way for Google to effectively compete against it rivals, namely Apple, and try to defend itself from future patent infringement lawsuits. If this pushes through, Android phone manufacturers would also be able to fend themselves from future patent infringements as well.
However, with this type of merger, also comes concerns from different “sides of the Atlantic” that Google will abuse its use of the patents. According to Reuters, Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reports in an interview in Brussel,
“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,”
The US Justice Department also agrees that this acquisition also breeds concerns. In their statement they said 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.“
Yet despite the concerns both the EU and the US Justice department gave a go signal on the merger. Now Google still awaits the approval from anti-trust regulators in Israel, China and Taiwan. China has until March 20 to approve whether or not it would allow Google to purchase Motorola Mobility.
But the merger does not mean Google will be able to flex its might in any way it wants as the EU and US regulators are determined to keep an eye on Google, making sure that Google does not abuse it.
This may seem a big feat in terms of the Motorola Mobility acquisition, but Google has yet to solve the $ 6 billion lawsuit from Oracle Corp. over patent infringement and the increase scrutiny, especially when it they were accused of using ” its clout in the search market to beat rivals as it moves into related businesses.
What is in it for us? Well, moves like this might be good or bad. It might hinder progress from other phone makers as Google might take advantage of the Motorola’s patents and charge exuberantly for its use. On the other hand, we might be able to see a real Google phone in the future. EU and US regulators are still unsure of what might Google do with this acquisition. Only time will tell however.