Google finally got approval this week for its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. That doesn't mean regulatory scrutiny will cease, however. In fact, it may increase.
According to Reuters, regulators from the EU and the U.S. said they would be watching to make sure patents that are essential to the telecommunications process are licensed fairly. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia explained:
This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices ...
The U.S. Department of Justice said:
The [antitrust] division determined that the acquisition of the patents by Google did not substantially lessen competition, but how Google may exercise its patents in the future remains a significant concern.
Similar concerns may be motivating regulators in China, Taiwan and Israel to withhold their approval of the deal. Chinese officials have until March 20 to approve it or start yet another level of review.
If the deal goes through, it will be Google's largest acquisition to date, the story says, and will give the company the largest patent library in the mobile phone industry.