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Google gains approval to buy Motorola Mobility

Regulators in the US and Europe have approved the sale of Motorola Mobility to search engine giant Google.

The decisions from both the US Justice Department and the European Commission will see the mobile phone, set-top box and tablet maker be sold for approximately $12.5 billion.

The European Commission stated that the deal would "not significantly modify the market situation in respect of operating systems and patents for [smartphones and tablets]."

While the deal will be closely monitored in order to ensure patents will be licensed at reasonable prices, Google is still waiting for approval from regulators in in China, Taiwan and Israel.

According to Reuters, a decision from Chinese regulators is due on March 20 – when they will decide whether to approve the deal or start a third review phase.

Analyst with technology experts Moor Insights and Strategy Patrick Moorhead believes that the deal could pave the way for Google to make more of a mark in the smartphone market.

"Apple should be the most concerned in that Google can finally take advantage of software and hardware integration," he told industry website Computerworld yesterday (February 14).

"This removes one of the final barriers to greater success to Google solutions and could deliver a more elegant solution – more like we see from Apple."

The acquisition is the largest in Google's history and look to build on the success of its Android software – the top operating system for Internet-enabled smartphones.

There are reportedly 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications currently listed under the Motorola Mobility name.

The US Justice Department also approved the sale of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks Corp to a consortium led by mobile phone technology competitor Apple.

Posted by Elise Ferrari