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China approves ‘Googlerola’ deal – Updated

23 May 2012

Chinese authorities have approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, clearing the way for the US$12.5 billion purchase first announced back in August.

However, the country’s regulators have included some caveats for Google to follow, including the key demand that the company agree to keep its Android operating system free and available to other device makers for the next five years.

The regulators also echoed the concerns voiced by authorities in the US and EU when they approved the deal back in February - principally, that Google commit to fairly licensing patents in standardised technologies.

With the final approval out of the way, proceedings in the sale are expected to close by the end of this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Many eyebrows were raised when the purchase was first announced, as it effectively places Google in direct competition with its other handset partners, like Samsung, HTC and Sony.

However, Google has repeatedly promised that the deal will not change its commitment to running Android as an open platform.

At any rate, chances are the acquisition has more to do with Motorola Mobility’s hefty patent portfolio, which will shore up Google in any forthcoming litigation.

Update: The US$12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google has officially closed, after initially being announced in August last year.

Google CEO Larry Page made the announcement in a post on the Google blog, appointing experienced Google executive Dennis Woodside to replace Sanjay Jha at the head of the new division.

"I’ve known Dennis for nearly a decade,” Page says, "and he’s been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google's biggest bets.”