WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators have approved Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of cell phone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings. The Justice Department wrapped up a six-month review of the deal after concluding the arrangement won't stifle competition in the mobile device market.
European regulators have reached the same conclusion. But, then there's China. The U.S. approval of the deal means Google can take control of Motorola Mobility -- if it can get government approvals in China, Taiwan and Israel. And China looms as the biggest stumbling block, given Google's shaky relationship with the government there.
Google wants Motorola's more than 17,000 patents. They could be a key weapon in an intellectual arms race with Apple, Microsoft and other rivals to get more control over smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.