Google and Motorola Mobility both revealed on Saturday that they have received Chinese regulatory approval for their proposed merger and expect to soon close on the deal.
After receiving permission in February to move ahead with the merger from the European Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, Google had been waiting for China as the final jurisdiction to sign off on the transaction. Chinese law requires that companies doing sales of more than $63 million domestic or and $1.5 billion globally must seek approve from its Ministry of Commerce.
“We are pleased the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions,” Motorola Mobility told Bloomberg in a statement that confirmed approval in China. “We expect to close imminently.”
Google said simply that its stance on the deal "has not changed" and that it is looking forward to completing the acquisition.
According to the report, China's Ministry of Commerce declared that Google must keep its Android mobile operating system free and open for the next five years as a condition of the approval.
Google announced last August that it had agreed to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion in a move that would "supercharge the Android ecosystem" while allowing Motorola to continue to run as a separate business. Google CEO Larry Page also revealed that the acquisition was meant to "better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."
Along with Motorola's cache of over 17,000 patents, Google will also pick up Motorola's legal disputes. As such, Google will face off against Apple once the deal is completed. Apple and Motorola are currently engaged in a complicated patent battle across multiple countries. Most recently, Apple succeeded in having a case against Motorola and HTC consolidated.