Back in August 2011, Google announced that it intended the purchase Motorola Mobility. Not only will the purchase get Google the ability to design and build its own smartphones, the deal means Google acquires all of the patents that Motorola Mobility holds. Since the deal was first announced, it has been going through all the hoops needed by regulators in the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is now close to being completed and approval from the U.S. Justice Department is expected to come as early as next week. Once the deal is complete, Google will layout $12.5 billion in exchange for Motorola Mobility.
However, some antitrust enforcers in America and Europe still worry about the deal. The fear stems from the fact that Motorola Mobility owns patents for things that are considered industry standards. The regulators fear that Google may attempt to license the patents for unfair prices to competitors.
When patents that a company holds are turned into industry standards, the companies that own the patents have to agree to license them under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms also known as FRAND. FRAND patents are hot topics right now because some manufacturers that hold this type of patent have attempted to use them to get injunctions against competitors and courts.
Motorola most recently has used FRAND patents to win an injunction against Apple that forced the suspension of sales of some of Apple products in Germany. Google has been sending letters to standards organizations around the world that promise to offer licenses for the FRAND patents in the Motorola Mobility portfolio.
The letter read in part, "Google will not apply for injunctive relief against a willing licensee." The letter continued, "we reserve its right to seek any and all appropriate judicial remedies against counterparties that refuse to license the patents."