Googlerola

The U.S. Department of Justice has approved Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, just hours after the deal was approved by the European Commission.

The key phrasing from the DoJ: “The division concluded that the specific transactions at issue are not likely to significantly change existing market dynamics."

When Google first announced the deal, they stated that it was done to "supercharge" Android with Motorola Mobility's extensive patent portfolio. And in addition to basic market competition, that's exactly what the DoJ was looking at as part of three investigations. The feds don't appear to be overly impressed with Google's intentions, saying that "Google’s commitments were more ambiguous and do not provide the same direct confirmation of its SEP licensing policies." And as such, it's going to keep an eye on things and that "The division will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action to stop any anticompetitive use of [standard essential patents] rights."

Where it really gets good, however, is when the DoJ basically says that in the course of its investigation, it determined that Microsoft and RIM have too low a market share to use as offensive weapons the patents they have a stake in as part of the Rockstar Bidco purchase (and whose purchase was also approved in the same ruling today). It also alludes that it considers those patents to be essential, and that if Google were to seek a licensing agreement with them, the Rockstar Bidco group would have offer fair terms.

In other words, if everybody doesn't play nice -- or at least fairly -- Uncle Sam's gonna step in and lay the smack down.

The Justice Department also notes that Microsoft already has licensing agreements with a buttload of Android manufacturers anyway, so it's kind of moot for the folks in Redmond. But essentially calling Microsoft and RIM "small" in the process is amusing. 

With respect to RIM’s and Microsoft’s acquisition of Nortel patents, their low market shares in mobile platforms would likely make a strategy to harm rivals either through injunctions or supracompetitive royalties based on the acquired Nortel SEPs unprofitable.  Because of their low market shares, they are unlikely to attract a sufficient number of new customers to their mobile platforms to compensate for the lost patent royalty revenues.  Moreover, Microsoft has cross-license agreements in place with the majority of its Android-based OEM competitors, making such a strategy even less plausible for it. 

Now we all wait to see what China has to say, but this deal likely is all but complete.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Android Central's Sean Brunett contributed to this report.

 
There are 21 comments

Small_law says:

Sounds good. I don't think this means the end of Blur by any means, but who knows. I'm really interested in which patents Google was after with this acquisition.

neilaga7 says:

Nexus RAZR anyone?

icebike says:

I'd go for that.

The Razr Max would make a great starting point for a Nexus phone.
Add a unlockable boot loader and nfc goodies, kill blur and I'm all in.

15israellai says:

I don't think I agree to that - an non-swappable battery is even worse than a lack of a microSD card slot. And I hope they'll make it less wide.

nory826 says:

I always figured if Motorola made a nexus device , it would be called the nexus X lol

Was it just me, or did this entire paragraph not make any sense because of the last couple of sentences?:

"Where it really gets good, however, is when the DoJ basically says that in the course of its investigation, it determined that Microsoft and RIM have too low a market share to use as offensive weapons the patents the have a stake in as part of the Rockstar Bidco purchase. It also alludes that it considers those patents to be essential, and that if Google were to seek a licensing agreement with them, the Rockstar Bidco group would have offer fair terms."

It appears there are too many words, or not enough to make sense of this...

Wicell says:

Yeah, that paragraph needs definite rewording, but I think what it breaks down into is that:
The DoJ has found that the acquisition of the Nortel Patents by RIM and Microsoft is insignificant due to their small market share in the Smartphone business.

icebike says:

"the patents the" = "the patents they".

Then it almost makes sense if you neglect everything you learned in the 6th grade writing skills class.

myester says:

Really?

Galaxy K says:

Hello Moto!

Someguy420 says:

ice cream sand witch now please in my photon

How soon do we see effects?

Grahaman27 says:

you mean you have not already noticed??

DenverRalphy says:

What I really want to see from this, is Google pulling licensing of patents from the likes of Microsoft and their devices, then rolling that revenue back into HTC/Samsung/etc.. to basically wash those licensing costs paid to Microsoft.

Wicell says:

"Google’s commitments were more ambiguous and do not provide the same direct confirmation of its SEP licensing policies." And as such, it's going to keep an eye on things and that "The division will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action to stop any anticompetitive use of [standard essential patents] rights."

Well if I remember correctly Apple is suing Samsung over using the hyperlink... How is that not seen as anticompetitive?
Get your S**t straight DoJ, you can't say you're gonna be watching someone and have a blind-eye to another huge company's actions.

cobrakon says:

Because it's Apple and the DOJ officials are all enjoying their iphones and ipads free of charge. And if you think Apples' not greasing palms, then your crazy. :D

cashxx says:

Wow what idiots..

dovlek says:

Apple go after Google now so u see what happens? End the patent war now

JETarpon says:

I like "Motoroogle" better than "Googlerola".

icebike says:

Tail wagging the dog.

Snipperdo17 says:

i like how phil gets off to people putting non android companies down. sick bastard