Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Google Gets European Okay for Motorola Mobility Purchase

Google has gotten the all-clear from European Union regulators to buy Motorola Mobility, though officials remain concerned about how Google will use Motorola’s patent portfolio.

“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,” Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters, according to Reuters. “This is our worry.”

European regulators had asked for more information about the deal, but said last month that they would make their call on it by today.

The commission said in a statement that it had concluded that Google was unlikely to prevent other hardware makers from getting access to Android, given Motorola’s relatively small share of the market.

The deal needs approval from the Department of Justice, though that is expected to come as early as this week. It also needs sign-off in other countries, including China, according to Reuters.

Google said it still expects to close the deal early this year.

“This is an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal,” Google said in a blog post. “We are now just waiting for decisions from a few other jurisdictions before we can close this transaction.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik