After suspending the hearings by EU regulators last early December to seek more information about Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the commission set February 13 as a deadline for the mulling the deal. The WSJ is reporting that The U.S. Justice Department is poised to clear Google Inc.’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. as early as next week.
On other side, FossPatents stated in its blog that Google send a letter [PDF] to standards bodies indicating no improvement whatsoever over Motorola’s FRAND litigation tactics – resulting in antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe remain concerned about Google’s commitment to license Motorola patents to competitors on fair terms and is on the closely watch Google’s use of the patents. The two major parts FossPatents mentioned about are royalty demands and injunctions.
Royalty demands and injunctions:
- On royalties, Google explicitly endorses and reinforces Motorola’s 2.25% position known from its disputes with Apple and Microsoft, including the idea of charging vendors based on the “net selling price of the relevant end product” even if patents are implemented in only one hardware or software component. In other words, if a BMW car implements H.264 or UMTS, they will want 2.25% of the price of the car, even if it means a per-unit royalty in the thousands of euros.
- On injunctions, the letter basically says that the only way to avoid them is to accept those out-of-line royalty demands that no responsible company in the industry will be able to accept. I can’t imagine that any major player ever acceded to that demand.
Whether that was enough to sway the Justice Department is unknown, but at least one of the big hurdles for Google’s acquisition of Motorola seems to have been overcome. The European Commission has set a Monday deadline to decide whether to approve the acquisition.