European antitrust regulators granted Google its blessing to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google is now one step closer to getting complete access to Motorola Mobility’s expansive portfolio of 17,000 patents with the hope to better defend Android from frequent infringement lawsuits.
This marks a major milestone in the acquisition process. Since Google would have the resources to get into the hardware business once it has Motorola’s team on board, one might think it could potentially have an unfair advantage over other Android vendors. It’s possible, but the main use for Motorola Mobility will be patents. The competition, particularly Apple, targets Android in so many lawsuits, I have no doubt IntoMobile could make a weekly column out of it. The strong patent portfolio is Google’s way of taking a stand.
While EU did give its approval, it’s a tad skeptical about what will happen in the future. Regulators are expected to “keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents.” This means no funny business, Google — use your patents for good instead of evil. EU launched an investigation targeting Samsung recently to determine whether the company is using its own patents to ward off competition.