The massive $12.5 billion merger of Google and smartphone and tablet maker Motorola Mobility went over two major hurdles today. First, The European Commission announced that it has given its approval for the merger, which was first announced in August 2011.
In its decision, the European Commission said that it approved the combination of Google and Motorola "mainly because it would not significantly modify the market situation in respect of operating systems and patents" for smartphones and tablets.
Google posted up its own blog post announcing the merger approval, stating:
As we outlined in August, the combination of Google and Motorola Mobility will help supercharge Android. It will also enhance competition and offer consumers faster innovation, greater choice and wonderful user experiences.
That doesn't mean that the European Commission is giving the combination of Google and Motorola a blank slate. In the press release, Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President, stated, "... the Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behaviour of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents."
Later on Monday, the US Justice Department announced its own approval of the deal. It stated, "The division concluded that the specific transactions at issue are not likely to significantly change existing market dynamics."
The Google-Motorola merger still has to be approved by regulators in China, Taiwan and Israel before it becomes official.