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Antitrust regulators investigate Google acquisition of Motorola

Antitrust regulators appear to be taking a closer look at the proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google. Officials for Google and Motorola report they have been asked to supply additional information about the planned acquisition by the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to documents filed by the parties, Motorola and Google express a desire to work with the Department of Justice during the inquiry. The acquisition of Motorola by Google is planned to be completed by January of 2012 at the latest.

Google makes the operating system that is used by Motorola’s Android mobile communications device. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the company believes that the more than $12 billion-acquisition will expand its reach into the mobile communications market while also increasing its holdings of intellectual property.

As part of the acquisition, Google will acquire the rights to more than 17,000 Motorola patents that it can use as it faces legal challenges from technology competitors like Apple.

A blog comment posted at Google indicated that the inquiry will delay the acquisition, but that approval of the deal is expected. Officials at Google labeled the DOJ request as routine and that both companies will cooperate fully with regulators.

The DOJ also announced that it is investigating the acquisition by Google of Admeld Inc., which is an Internet advertising company. Google believes this acquisition will help it gain a larger share of the online advertising trade.

In a related investigation, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into concerns that Google overly dominates the Internet search business.

Google, Inc. is based in Mountain View, California while Motorola has its headquarters in Libertyville, Illinois. The stock values of both Google and Motorola have declined in recent months.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, “Google’s Motorola Takeover Faces Longer Antitrust Scrutiny,” Brian Womack, Sept. 28, 2011


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