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US and EU regulators will give Googorola the nod soon

Google gobbling Motorola reportedly good to go

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Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility looks likely to get clearance from US and EU authorities, possibly as early as next week, according to sources within the investigation.

The EU has been taking its time to review the competition aspects of Google 's merger with the ailing handset manufacturer – there’s been a lot of objections since it applied for clearance in November - but sources told Reuters that the deal would be approved next week with minimal changes. The investigators are apparently satisfied that the competitive landscape won’t be sufficiently carved up by the union.

"The Commission is expected to clear this deal without requiring any concessions from Google," one of the sources said.

Regulators in the US are also expected to make their delayed judgment at the start of next week, and the EU may give its verdict at the same time, or soon afterwards, sources suggest. Antitrust authorities in China, Taiwan, and Israel still need to give their OK, but with the two big markets giving assent, this should smooth the process.

Google has taken a big gamble with its planned purchase of Motorola Mobility. It’s hoping the $12.5bn it’s paying will be worth it in legal savings and patent payments - once it gets hold of Motorola’s 17,000 worldwide patents, and over 7,500 applications in progress. Google has sought to placate the regulators with a promise to submit to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms for key technologies and not try and lock up the mobile market. ®

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