An earlier version of this story misstated the value of the proposed merger between Google and Motorola Mobility. It's a $12.5 billion acquisition.
The Department of Justice gave its seal of approval to Google’s proposed takeover of U.S. cell-phone maker Motorola Mobility on Monday, just hours after European regulators also gave the deal clearance.
The $12.5 billion acquisition positions Google to move into the device market and potentially into more direct competition with companies like Apple.
Google wants to own the hardware to pair with its Android operating system for smartphones, and could use the acquisition to protect patents as well as to develop other devices such as home gaming systems.
“The combination of Google and Motorola Mobility will help supercharge Android,” Google’s Don Harrison said in a blog post earlier in the day. “It will also enhance competition and offer consumers faster innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.”
The European Union earlier on Monday approved the deal, which still needs the approval of regulators in several other countries, including China, according to Reuters.
Last year the Justice Department went to court to block AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile, a so-called horizontal merger between competitors. Despite an ongoing antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, Google faced much less scrutiny in its pursuit of Motorola, with which it does not directly compete.
The Justice Department, which also approved the transfer of patents from Nortel Networks and Novell to companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Research in Motion, concluded that the deal “is unlikely to substantially lessen competition.”
Google announced its bid for Motorola in August. The electronics manufacturer holds about 17,000 patents with 6,800 applications pending, all of which are often worth their weight in gold in the consumer electronics market.