Chinese regulators have approved the the mega-billion dollar purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google. The deal has already received US approval and elsewhere, China had been the long holdout and the final hurdle for the deal to close.
“We are pleased the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions,” Motorola Mobility said in an e-mailed statement, confirming that the deal has been approved in China. “We expect to close imminently.”
Google will now be able to access Motorola’s deep library of 17,000 patents to help protect itself against legal disputes over the Android platform.
There is one caveat to the deal however, Google had to agree to keep Android free and open for anyone who wants to use it for at least the next five years to gain Chinese approval. The belief is that this requirement was necessary to make sure that Google would avoid giving Motorola preferential treatment compared to other Android OEM’s. It’s long been Google’s position that they would not give any preferential treatment to Motorola.
“Our stance since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed and we look forward to closing the deal,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement.
A brief reminder here as Google isn’t technically the “owner” of Android as it was created and developed by the Open Handset Alliance, of which Google is far and away the largest contributor. Google would likely face a tough battle to close off Android completely so this stipulation by Chinese regulators isn’t really of much concern. Google’s strategy of keeping Android as an open and free platform has served them well, no reason to believe it wouldn’t want to continue on the current path.