China Approves Google’s Acquisition of Motorola

Despite longstanding tensions between Google and China due to rules on internet access and censorship, China has recently approved of Google’s acquisition of Motorola. The Associated Press reports:

Authorities in China have approved Google Inc.’s bid to buy phone maker Motorola Mobility, clearing the way for the $12.5 billion deal to close early next week.

The approval brings the Internet search giant closer to sealing its biggest acquisition ever. Buying Motorola allows Google to expand into manufacturing phones, tablet computers and other consumer devices for the first time. The deal also gives Google access to more than 17,000 Motorola patents.

The Chinese government approved the deal on Saturday, Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said. “We look forward to closing the deal,” she said.

Although China has given Google the OK, they have also stipulated that Android, Google’s mobile operating system, remains free and open for the next five years. CNET adds:

The stipulation would seem to be designed to keep Google from denying Motorola’s handset competitors access to the mobile operating system, or from giving Motorola an advantage of some sort — such as integration between its handsets and Android that’s tighter than connections between rival phones and the OS.

From the beginning, Google has taken an open approach with Android, making it free and available to any hardware manufacturer — a strategy that’s helped to quickly make Android the No. 1 mobile OS globally.

“Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing our work with all of them on an equal basis to deliver outstanding user experiences,” Google CEO Larry Page said during a conference call last August, at the time the intended acquisition was announced. “We built Android as an open-source platform and it will stay that way.”

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