Justice Department set to OK Google-Motorola deal, WSJ says

An approval could happen as early as next week, although U.S. and European regulators remain concerned about Google's commitment to licensing Motorola's patents fairly.

Google could receive approval on its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from the U.S. Justice Department as early as next week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The approval would speed the way for Google to take advantage of Motorola's stash of valuable technology patents, allowing it to better defend its partners against the legal onslaught of Apple. The European Union's European Commission has set a deadline of Monday to clear the deal.

The U.S. and European regulators, however, remain concerned over how neutral Google will be in licensing out the patents on fair terms, the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing anonymous sources. With Motorola, Google gets thousands of patents deemed integral to wireless technology, and is bound by the licensing principles of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, or frand.

The Justice Department is also set to approve the acquisition of another valuable collection of patents from Nortel Network by a consortium of technology companies, including Apple, Research in Motion, and Microsoft, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A representative from the Justice Department declined to comment to CNET.

The various technology companies have taken to the courtroom as a second front. In particular, Apple has set off a round of litigation between it and the various Android partners, including Samsung Electronics, Motorola, and HTC. But the Android makers have used integral patents that have fall under frand in counter-suits, further complicating the various legal clashes.

Google, meanwhile, said today in a letter to the IEEE standards board that it would be fair in how it licensed the patents it will gain from Motorola, and wouldn't show bias toward any handset manufacturer.

Updated at 8:46 p.m. PT: to include a response from the Justice Department.