Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Google Calls Justice Department Second Request on Motorola Deal “Pretty Routine” (If Four Percent Is Routine)

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

Think about the federal government’s blocking of the $39 billion AT&T and T-Mobile merger and you might want to reread Google’s blog today, penned in reaction to the news that the Justice Department is making a second request for information about its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

“This is pretty routine,” wrote Google’s Motorola integration exec Dennis Woodside. “We’ve gotten these kind of requests before.”

Maybe Google has (and it has with other purchases) — but in actuality, only four percent of transactions got such a follow-up request from regulators.

To be fair, it is much more common in high-profile, big-money deals like this one, but it means a longer closing period and more uncertainty around the Android mobile ecosystem until it’s done.

Still, Google has good reason to be patient. Despite tough criticism and brutal lobbying, it won approval from Justice for its $700 million deal to buy flight data service ITA Software in April, after nine months of scrutiny and a number of conditions imposed.

And the search giant waited out an intense six-month Federal Trade Commission approval process last year for its $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising start-up AdMob. It had an even harder time with the FTC’s nod of its 2007 DoubleClick purchase for $3.1 billion.

One that it lost — an obvious bridge too far that I dubbed Yahoogle — was Google’s 2008 effort to meld a troubling partnership with Yahoo in search advertising.

So, we’ll see soon enough which way D.C. — which just had Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt up to the Senate for an antitrust hearing chit-chat — will go.

Until then, here’s Woodside’s whole blog:

An update on our Motorola acquisition

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM ET

Posted by Dennis Woodside, SVP Google

Since we announced our plans to acquire Motorola Mobility, we’ve been excited about the positive reaction to the proposed deal — particularly from our partners who have told us that they’re enthusiastic about our defense of the Android ecosystem.

And as David Drummond said when we announced our plans in August, we’re confident that this deal will be approved. We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction that is good for Motorola Mobility, good for consumers, and good for our partners.

That said, we know that close scrutiny is part of the process and we’ve been talking to the U.S. Department of Justice over the past few weeks. Today we received what is called a “second request,” which means that the DOJ is asking for more information so that they can continue to review the deal. (This is pretty routine; we’ve gotten these kind of requests before.)

While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes. We’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle