Google’s Motorola Deal Will Spur Antitrust Regulators to Action


Arik Hasseldahl
All Things D
August 15, 2011

To say that Google is going to face some opposition to its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility is what you might call a bit of an understatement.

First of all, the deal will give a lot of fresh meat to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is already investigating several aspects of Google’s business, including its Android mobile operating system business. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, investigators from the FTC and from the offices of several state attorneys general have been exploring whether or not Google prevents phone manufacturers who become Android partners from using the smartphone operating systems of other companies.

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If such were the case, the party most likely to suffer would be Microsoft, whose Windows Mobile operating system is, like Android, widely offered to smartphone manufacturers. The other one that comes to mind is Hewlett-Packard, which is in talks with several companies about licensing its webOS software, which came from Palm, the handheld-making company it acquired last year.

The FTC’s investigation, said to have begun in June, is still in its early stages and may not result in a lawsuit. But you can bet that this proposed acquisition will only quicken the FTC’s pace.

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