China Extends Investigations of Google’s Acquisition of Motorola

Chinese regulators extended their probe into Google Inc. (GOOG)’s $12.5 billion proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI), the last hurdle before the deal can be completed, according to the companies.

China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau has expanded its second phase of the investigation, Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility said in a regulatory filing today. While Motorola Mobility and Google expect the transaction to close in the first half, they said they can provide no assurances the transaction will be approved by China.

The acquisition, announced last year, has received approvals in Europe, the U.S. and other jurisdictions around the world. Motorola Mobility said in a regulatory filing in February that it needed approval in China and Taiwan.

Google, facing legal disputes over its Android smartphone software, is counting on the deal to be able to draw on more than 17,000 patents from Motorola Mobility. The acquisition is the largest wireless-equipment deal in at least a decade, according to Bloomberg.

Motorola Mobility was unchanged at $39.32 at 9:00 a.m. New York time before the markets opened, while Google declined 0.3 percent to $623.10. Motorola Mobility dropped 0.7 percent to $39.32 on March 16 in New York. Google climbed 0.6 percent to $625.04.


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