Jan 27 AT 7:10 PM Taylor Wimberly 40 Comments

Motorola provides an update on proposed merger with Google


Google shocked the tech world last year when they announced that they would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Shareholders already approved the deal and many in the industry assume it will go through, but there are still a few hurdles left to clear before it becomes official. Motorola provided an update on the progress in yesterday’s earnings report.

In order to be approved antitrust clearances, or waiting period expirations, are required by the U.S. Department of Justice, European Commission, Canada, China, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey.

So far, clearances have only been received from Turkey and Russia. The waiting period has expired in the United States and Canada, but Motorola has been informed that the reviewing agencies have not finished their investigations. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced in December that they have moved on to phase two of its investigation.

Motorola “expects the transaction to close in early 2012″ but notes that “factors outside the company’s control” could “delay or prevent completion of the transaction altogether.”

The biggest obstacle to completing the transaction could come from Europe where consumer groups are urging the European Union to block the merger. Consumer Watchdog, a US-based advocacy group, has written a letter [.pdf] to the EU asking them to stop the deal.

Parts of the letter read, “Allowing the Motorola Mobility deal would provide Google with unprecedented dominance in virtually all aspects of the mobile world — manufacturing, operating systems, search and advertising. It would be a virtually unstoppable juggernaut. We urge the Commission to block the proposed $12.5 billion deal.”

Not only does the letter ask the EU to block the merger, but it also calls for an investigation into the Google’s alleged anti-competitive practices.

If you are not familiar with Consumer Watchdog, they have accused Google of engaging in “close relationships” with the U.S. governement and produced several videos attacking former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt.

The EU Commission was originally supposed to make a decision on the merger by January 10th, but that deadline was extended to February 13th after Google submitted additional documents to support its case.

At this point I doubt the deal will get killed, but anything is possible. There was a time when we thought that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile was certain, and look how that turned out.

Source: Motorola

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • spazby

    Let it through just to see what google will do with it…

  • Owain

    It is interesting, not overly concerning however. Then again do we want Android to be another Apple?

    • zerosix

      Do we want to give our money to Microsoft and Apple or we want to protect Android from patent trolls?

      • Owain

        Let’s not pretend that this is all to do with making more money for Google’s shareholders, nothing more.

        • zerosix

          Everybody nowadays thinks of making money. Nothing more.


    Anyone else think apple is behind the anti merger movement? Lol. Conspiracy conspiracy

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      No conspiracy, I will be surprised if they are not behind it.

    • stenzor

      Well Steve Jobs did vow to destroy Android…

      • zerosix

        The most funny thing about him is that he is one of the greatest thieves himself.
        But I don’t understand, why he thinks, that Google stole his “innovation”, when he himself almost completely stole it from Palm.

    • aranea

      They are probably behind it. What I don’t understand is how Apple seems to get away from these kind of law-suits. Back then, apple bundles Safari with their devices hell it used to prevent any other browser from their phones and yet MS was the only one who got punished for giving IE. Now apple owns a monopoly over iOS yet it’s google-motorola merger that’s in question!

    • KRS_Won

      i saw the text, it was sent from an *phone.

  • Alan Reboli

    “Google with unprecedented dominance in virtually all aspects of the mobile world — manufacturing, operating systems, search and advertising. It would be a virtually unstoppable juggernaut.”

    This is a really good argument against the merger. I still want it to happen, but it is something to think about!

    • AsakuraZero

      google wins more money with more OEM makers and handsets,than restricting it to one maker.


      google ads, market and all of those winnings are better in all market ranges (so we all can have android phone on entry, mid, and high levels), that is converted to money~

    • KenG

      Motorola has “dominance” in manufacturing? Did we go back in time 30 years or so?

      I didn’t think that Motorola built their own hardware, but even if they did, it doesn’t give Google any advantage. Blocking this deal only helps Apple and Microsoft suppress innovation through the enforcement of their indefensibly granted patents.

    • zerosix

      It’s not an argument at all. Apple and RIM make software and hardware, Microsoft has Nokia (I suppose, that they will acquire it in late 2012 – 2013)

    • steveanderson1357

      So a false argument is a really good argument? Hm…Avoiding their hyperbole: Unprecedented dominance in a) manufacturing: How many manufacturers can you name that are bigger than Motorola? b) operating systems: android, is hardly dominant, it is not owned by Google.

    • http://theinternet-allofit.blogspot.com Jorge Branco

      It’s hardly unprecedented. It’s apple’s exact model

  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    Apple is far more anti-competitive but they won’t ever be investigated in until they start gaining massive market share. It’s one of the major flaws with our anti-competitive legislation.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    The consumer advocacy group is, obviously, a group of idiots. Without Motorola’s patent portfolio, the Android ecosystem is at risk being legally killed by Apple, which already does everything they oppose to.

  • Vance

    I would hope that somewhere in that letter they provided supporting evidence to back their claims that Google would see “unprecedented dominance in virtually all aspects of the mobile world — manufacturing, operating systems, search and advertising. It would be a virtually unstoppable juggernaut.”
    I’m not sure how you quantify a “virtually unstoppable juggernaut” unless we’re talking MW3 here… and as for dominance in “virtually all aspects of the mobile world”.. (nice C.Y.A use of the word “virtually” in this piece btw) since when is Motorola a dominating force in manufacturing?? Apple manufactures it’s own hardware, how does it compare to Moto?? Again… show me the supporting numbers..

  • Mike

    “Allowing the Motorola Mobility deal would provide Google with unprecedented dominance in virtually all aspects of the mobile world — manufacturing, operating systems, search and advertising. It would be a virtually unstoppable juggernaut.”

    Wow, really? Kind of like what Apple already is with no one manufacturer of software/hardware to compete against them? Hey Apple, since you’re behind this, you might want to leave Google alone with this because without them, YOU are a monopoly. They might take your precious $80+ billion in cash away from you too!

  • droilfade

    Well….that video was kinda creepy! Yikes!

  • Jerome

    But isn’t Apple already set up like this at least without the arm that google has

  • EspadaA


  • userx

    Google really has a lot of things they need to have there balls in a fucking vice clamp over.

  • h0ruza

    Motorola is far from being a top phone manufacturer but with this merger I can see Google’s ethos turning them around.

    Motorola’s patents aren’t the best in the deck but they will help in these yes of litigation madness.

    Hopefully the EU side of things will make this happen.

  • CactusCat

    Agreed. We never know exactly how something is going to turn out, but this one doesn’t have the sinister look to it that the ATT-Tmo takeover (not merger) had. More than likely, this one will probably go through.

    On a side note, what happened to all of those “guaranteed, it’s a done deal” posters regarding the ATT-Tmo takeover? I read so many “its done, forget it” posts from people that wanted to sound like they knew something, and it turned out, they knew absolutely nothing. I’ll just put it this way (old school), its better to let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and take away all doubt .

  • Tony

    So they’ll give us an update about this, but not a boldfaced lie about fixing their broken bootloader promise?

  • MoSDeeb

    A phone made by google would be great. If this merger does go through than I think it would only be a matter of time before google fully takes over.

    There is not one company that is held out as a fully autonomous subsidiary unless its to shield from lawsuits.

    Google should take the helm if the deal is approved and get rid of Blur completely for the sake of humanity.

  • cb2000a

    Hard to justify blocking this as Apple already has the software/hardware in house and buys up other companies all the time. I really cannot see why this buyout would be a problem (unlike the ATT-T-Mo one).

  • yankeesusa

    I thought the merger was final already. Oh well. At least google is still giving motorola help with lawsuits.

  • DroidPower

    wow, that ad was terrible and definitely did not make me feel like I could go to consumer watchdog for unbiased information.

  • booyootoo

    I’m really not sure why they want to stop google. There are some other parties like Microsoft that are also big in software and hardware.

    With this merger google can really compete and innovate, whilst expanding their add market into other businesses.

    since this is an Android site we all tend to look at things from an Android perspective, but this merger is about about a lot more then patentsfor protecting Android.

    They will be pushing google tv and innovating in set top box land and probably in (mobile) network technology, so they can make a faster internet.

    I think we all would profit as other big players Would have to follow, giving us consumers more choice…

  • Samuel Fortaleza

    Bem provável o Consumer Watchdog estar sendo financiado pelo Facebook ou pela Apple, como nas outras vezes. É uma guerra de passar a perna no outro.

  • Samuel Fortaleza

    Consumer Watchdog’s likely being funded by Facebook or Apple, as at other times. It is a war to outwit the other.

  • Ivan Samuelson

    And as if Apple isn’t trying to do the same thing?

    I officially hate Apple, now. I used to like them. Hell, I LEARNED how to program on an Apple ][ and it’s what made me love programming computers and choose that as my field of study in college. But this is just stupid.

  • smeghead68

    So what’s the big deal, it’s all about money and done before.

  • Dave

    I feel this is a great thing those of us who are running Motorola android devices have been dealing and trying to work around the bootloader which is locked. I feel that since google has taken over Motorola will have to release a unlocked bootloader patch. We are finally stepping closer to Freedom with our Moto!