(CN) – Google received the green light Monday from the European Commission to acquire Motorola Mobility.
The commission said from Brussels that the $12.5 billion marriage would not affect competition in the European Union’s market for smartphones and tablets.
“We have approved the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google because, upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues,” said Joaquín Almunia, commission vice president in charge of competition policy, in a statement. “Of course, the commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents.”
As part of the approval process, the commission said it “considered whether Google would be likely to prevent Motorola’s competitors from using Google’s Android operating system.”
“The commission’s investigation showed Android helps to drive the spread of Google’s other services,” the commission said. “Consequently, given that Google’s core business model is to push its online and mobile services and software to the widest possible audience, it is unlikely that Google would restrict the use of Android solely to Motorola, a minor player in the European Economic Area as compared to operators such as Samsung and HTC.”
Google announced the proposed acquisition last summer, saying that it would “enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing.”
The commission’s finding met with applause from Google.
“This is an important milestone in the approval process and it moves us closer to closing the deal,” Google Vice President & Deputy General Counsel Don Harrison said in a blog post. “We are now just waiting for decisions from a few other jurisdictions before we can close this transaction.”