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Google's future handset rivals praise Motorola deal

Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and LG are happy to get patent protections from the Motorola deal--but not necessarily about competition from Google.

Four of the biggest makers of Android phones--Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics, and Sony-Ericsson--have lined up to praise the patent protections they expect from Google's planned acquisition of Motorola.

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Google published the four companies' eerily similar supporting quotations on its Web site today not long after Google CEO Larry Page announced the $12.5 billion deal. Samsung and HTC already are the target of Apple patent infringement suits.

Unsurprisingly, each phone maker's leader steers well clear of the fact that the company they rely upon for a popular mobile operating system now expects to become a direct competitor. Google's ambition to run Motorola Mobility as a new division must be raising a lot of hackles, and perhaps is igniting a re-evaluation of where Microsoft's Windows Phone OS fits into the mobile ecosystem.

But the fact that they were willing to supply any positive public statement at all, though, indicates at a minimum that Google is offering desirable patent protection terms to its Android partners. Another possible conclusion is that Google won't face opposition from the Android phone makers the way, for example, that Google is objecting to the acquisition of Nortel's patents by Apple, Microsoft, and others. Given Google's troubles convincing antitrust regulators that it's not undermining competition, that could be important.

Here's what the four executives had to say about Google's planned acquisition of Motorola:

• "We welcome today's news, which demonstrates Google's deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem." --J.K. Shin, president of Samsung's Mobile Communications Division

• "I welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners." --Bert Nordberg, CEO of Sony Ericsson

• "We welcome the news of today's acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem." --Peter Chou, CEO of HTC

• "We welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners." --Jong-Seok Park, CEO of LG Electronics' Mobile Communications Company