Google’s Motorola bid gets EU/US go-ahead

Google’s $12.5bn (£7.9bn) bid to buy Motorola’s handset division has been approved by European and US lawmakers, taking it a step closer to completing its acquisition of the handset maker.

Motorola inside

The proposed acquisition was given the go ahead by both the European Commission and the US Department of Justice, which had been investigating the plans under competition rules.

It was ruled that under the deal Google was “unlikely” to restrict the use of the Android platform to Motorola handsets, and would not have an adverse effect on competition. Android is currently also used by Samsung and HTC.

Google vice president and deputy general counsel Don Harrison says in a statement that it is “an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal.”

He adds that “the combination of Google and Motorola Mobility will help supercharge Android. It will also enhance competition and offer consumers faster innovation, greater choice and wonderful user experiences.”

Android handsets accounted for 52.5% of smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2011, more than double its market share from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

At the time the acquisition was announced, Marketing Week reported that it could allow the companies to develop something unique in the smartphone market like a “pure Google device”.

The deal still needs approval from China, Taiwan and Israel to complete.

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