Google's Moto Buy Gets Green-Lighted

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s patent portfolio is about to get some padding, as the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice approved the company's acquisition of Motorola Mobility LLC late Monday, following the blessing the merger received from European regulators earlier in the day.

The DOJ also approved the sale of some Nortel Networks Ltd. patents to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and BlackBerry , as well as Apple's acquisition of certain Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) patents.

Similar to the European Commission's sentiments, the DOJ said it believes the acquisitions are "unlikely to substantially lessen competition" or change existing market dynamics, but that it "will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action to stop any anticompetitive use of SEP [standard essential patents] rights.”

Google met its deadline of early 2012 that it set when it first announced its plans to acquire the handset maker for $12.5 billion last August. (See Google Buying Moto Mobility for $12.5B .)

Why this matters
Google's handset partners will now get access to the Android maker's 17,000 issued patents and 6,800 applications. Up until now, they've all been fighting lawsuits and paying licensing fees to competitors like Apple and Microsoft, which had more patents at their disposal. The acquisition should help level the playing field. (See Intellectual Property Boom.)

The deal is also good news for Moto Mobility, which has struggled on the device front in recent quarters as it's been hit hard by legal fees and competition. (See Moto Isn't Biting Into Apple's Smartphone Share, Moto Mobility Had a Blue Christmas and Moto Ships 4.8M Smartphones Amid Q3 Losses.)

For more
Catch up on the Google/Moto saga. — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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