EC Delays Decision On Google’s Motorola Buy


Europe’s competition authorities want more information on Google’s proposed buyout of Motorola Mobility

The European Commission has delayed its decision on Google’s proposed $12.5bn (£8bn) acquisition of Motorola Mobility while it awaits more information from Google.

The Commission is asking Google to provide “certain documents that are essential for the evaluation of the transaction”, after which it will “restart the clock”, said Commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres. The Commission did not provide details as to the nature of the documents needed.

Delays in EU and US

The US Justice Department issued its own request for additional documents in September, delaying US progress on the deal.

Google filed the notification of its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility with the Commission on 25 Novmber, and the Commission had set a provisional deadline to issue a decision on 10 January. Google said the Commission’s request was “routine”.

“We’re confident the commission will conclude that this acquisition is good for competition and we’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review,” Google said in a statement provided to eWeek Europe UK.

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility would give Google an arsenal of patents that the search giant needs in order to compete in the mobile market against the likes of Microsoft and Apple, both of which have been aggressively pursuing legal actions against smartphone handset manufacturers. These include Samsung and HTC that base their phones on Google’s Android software.

For its part, Motorola Mobility won the initial round of a mobile patent battle against Apple in Germany last week.

The acquisition would also add to Google’s power in the booming mobile search and advertising markets. The EC is already investigating whether Google has abused its dominant position in search and advertising on the Web.

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