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EU approves Google-Motorola deal

The acquisition is approved without conditions

European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility.

The US$12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions.

By buying Motorola Mobility, Google will gain control of around 17,000 smartphone patents, but the Internet giant has pledged to license them under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. However, in a letter to 15 standards bodies, Google also listed the exceptions for when it would abandon this promise and would continue to pursue injunctions.

The approval news comes as mobile phone leaders Apple, Microsoft, Google and Samsung struggle for dominance with countless court cases currently ongoing over alleged patent violations.

Google's Android smartphone operating system dominates the mobile market with a 38 percent share compared to Apple iPhone's 27 percent.

"If Google is allowed to dominate the mobile market it will result in higher prices for consumers and stifle innovation," warned Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.


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