Google's aquisition of Motorola Mobility is set to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department as early as next week, according to the Wall Street Journal and people "familiar with the matter." These sort of deals are never a given, as the various governments across the world always have the final say on matters of commerce. This deal would arm Google with very desirable hardware patents for mobile devices, which really is the reason for the entire investigation.

The Justice Department, as well as European Union legislators, are very concerned that Google allows other companies to use these patents under FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) rules, which prohibit things like overcharging for licenses or blocking access to the patents outright.  They should be -- look at all the legal mess smartphone manufacturers are in now, then muddy that picture further by changing license requirements for the things that make a cell phone work. We're not talking lock screens or rounded corners here, Motorola owns IP that all cell phones need and use to operate. Taking away licenses for core technology would benefit nobody, and Google has pledged not to do it. 

Instead, Google has sent letters to to numerous standards organizations, stating that it would offer FRAND licensing for patents in Motorola's portfolio. They didn't promise not to seek damages or injunctions from potential violators, though. Google stated that it "reserves its right to seek any and all appropriate judicial remedies against counterparties that refuse to license its FRAND patents."  Mutual destruction tactics at their finest.

We tend to take things like this from the Wall Street Journal at face value, and this is no exception.  Their track record stands on it's own.  If this is true, and the EU (whose own deadline for a decision is Feb. 13) gives a green light we should know more next week.  We'll keep you posted.

Source (paid content): WSJ


Reader comments

Google-Motorola deal set to be approved by U.S. Justice Department, says WSJ


Not really, Apple buys companies to improve their products. Google is buying Motorola for patents to defend stuff they stolen and to hurt others that may use their own patents and go against them. You are Googles product and you are being sold to its customers. Hopefully some day you guys wake up and see this. Google is deceitful!

So, everyone saying this is a good thing because they will go after Apple is the EXACT same thing you are bitching about Apple doing.

I don't think those that are happy about this are expecting Google to "go after Apple". What they are hoping for is this will be bring an end (or at least slow down) Apple's lawsuit happy nature which was clearly hindering innovation since android manufacturers spent significant amount of money fighting frivolous lawsuits. Apple can still sue, but if there's the threat that Google will counter with their patents then they'll think twice.

Apple bullies smaller companies with the threat of legal fees to defend themselves against Apple's unsubstantiated claims. Google is getting actual patents to fight back against Apple with actual rock hard claims.

You sound just like all the crApple fanbois, in so much as you are wrong and talking out of the wrong hole.

Google is taking a defensive posture, and even offering FRAND, while Apple is on the offensive, like a crazed immature school girl screaming across the playground. Apple even has the nerve to go boo-hooing about FRAND with one face and suing for injuctions, using patents that should be FRAND by their own perspective, with the other.

Google should qualify their move to FRAND with "after Apple does.".

I hoping for a Motorola Nexus phone with killer hardware.. A phone that isn't behind the eight ball the day it is made. A phone with killer hardware that is also great to look at.

GNex refers to the Galaxy Nexus...Galaxy is Samsung's line of Android devices. Nexus is the term you're looking for.

And vanilla Android. Make every Motorola phone effectively a Nexus, even if they don't use the "Nexus" name...

You mean, as opposed to apple, who cavity searches you every time you want to load a song or video onto your device?

Ok, this is such Bullshit. Apple doesn't have to fucking make phones for other companies. They have their own phones made their own way with their own software and they don't have to make concessions to anyone. Why does there have to be a concession when google does the same thing?