Google expected to close Motorola deal following Chinese approval

Google is expected to close its acquisition of Motorola Mobility this week following the crossing of its last major hurdle, approval by the Chinese regulatory authorities.

The Chinese authorities gave the US$12.5 billion (€9.8 billion) acquisition the green light on condition that Google continues to offer its Android operating system free of charge for the next five years.

Google is known to be interested in acquiring Motorola’s extensive patent portfolio, particularly strong in the mobile devices area, which would position it better to challenge patent lawsuits from Apple, Microsoft and others.

To allay fears on the part of other Android device manufacturers that the acquisition would mean Google competing directly with them in the hardware market, Google is expected to keep Motorola Mobility at arms length, operating as an independent unit. There has been speculation that Google could sell off the set-top box part of the business at a later date.