China Approves Google-Motorola Deal

By Beecher Tuttle May 21, 2012

Chinese regulators have signed off on Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, but with one major stipulation: the Internet giant must keep its Android mobile operating system free and open to device makers for at least five years.

The move is a clear effort by China to benefit domestic handset vendors like as ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co., which rely on Android to power their own mobile devices. Google's leap into the hardware business has caused some apprehension among Android partners who now find themselves as de facto competitors of the search firm.

Google has agreed not to discriminate against device manufacturers and said it will offer each partner similar access and privileges to Motorola, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, China's Ministry of Commerce ruled that Google does retain the right to charge for auxiliary services that are not included in Android, such as cloud computing applications.

Even with the stipulation, the ruling represents a major victory for Google as it has now received approval from all jurisdictions. The U.S. Justice Department and the European Union signed off on the deal earlier in the year. Google told Bloomberg that it expects the transaction to close "imminently."

The deal accomplishes several goals for Google, which now finds itself with a strong foothold in the hardware business as well as a treasure chest of 17,000 patents and its 7,500 pending patent applications that can help the company protect against patent suits from competitors like Apple.

As a latecomer in the mobile space, Google – along with all manufacturers that rely on Android – has been a clear target for intellectual property litigation.

The EU granted unconditional regulatory approval of the deal back in February, but warned Google that it will closely monitor the situation to ensure that the company doesn't abuse the power that comes with the patent war chest. The EU approved the deal after finding that Google has no legitimate reason to close Android off to other mobile device manufacturers after acquiring its own hardware stake. "The Commission's investigation showed Android helps to drive the spread of Google's other services," the EU noted in a statement at the time. "Consequently, given that Google's core business model is to push its online and mobile services and software to the widest possible audience, it is unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola, a minor player."

After agreeing to China's one major condition, Google now has no choice but to keep Android open, at least for the next five years.


Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

This Digital Catapult Can Launch Jets

By: Lindsey Patterson    8/22/2017

A new technology for launching aircraft from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers has now been making headlines, too. This new technique demonstrates a fundame…

Read More

4 Biohacking Facts You Should Know About in 2017

By: Special Guest    8/18/2017

When it comes to biohacking, a more recent development in science, it involves combining the idea of hacking with biology. In today's world, biohackin…

Read More

Rest Your Weary Fingers: Voice Activation is Coming to a CRM Near You

By: Special Guest    8/9/2017

We spend a lot of time talking to our gadgets these days. Whether we're seeking directions from Siri or weather updates from Alexa, speech is quickly …

Read More

Kevin Kennedy Stepping Down, Will New Leadership Help Guide Avaya Back into Prominence?

By: Erik Linask    8/7/2017

After more than eight years as Avaya's chief executive, Kevin Kennedy will be stepping down from that role as of October 1, 2017. He'll be replaced by…

Read More

Micro-CT Scans Allow Researchers to Study Live Insects in 3D

By: Kayla Matthews    8/7/2017

The things we don't know about the natural world could fill textbooks. That's why excitement is the most appropriate response when we discover new way…

Read More