China clears Google, Motorola merger: Deal to close 'within days'

Following China's approval of the deal, Google is set to acquire smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion as soon as this coming week.

Chinese antitrust and competition regulators have cleared Google's move to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, completing the worldwide regulatory review process.

A Google representative confirmed that the Chinese government had given the merger the green light. The deal is set to close early in this coming week.

The deal had to be approved by a series of regulators around the world, not limited to the United States and Europe.

The U.S. Justice Department and European Union regulators cleared the deal in February, leaving Israel, Taiwan, and China to mull over the merger.

China was the last hurdle in the chain of regulators to approve the deal. A second phase of the review caused the investigation to be delayed , as tensions between Google and the Chinese continued to stir.

After all, it comes only a couple of years after Google accused the Chinese government of hacking its networks, which famously led the search company to leave the country altogether.

The move is significant for Google, as it allows the maker of the Android mobile operating system -- which has the majority of the global mobile market share -- to complete the smartphone ecosystem by acquiring handset maker Motorola Mobility.

Google will also receive Motorola's vast portfolio of about 17,000 patents and 6,800 pending applications in the deal.

Update, 2:33 p.m. PT: The Associated Press, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that to win China's OK of the merger, Google had to agree to make Android free and open for at least the next five years, presumably to keep Google-Motorola from denying other handset makers access to the OS or from giving Motorola-made handsets an advantage of some kind.

Roundup:
• Full coverage of Google's Motorola acquisition, from CNET and its sister sites

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

 

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