Regulators have suspended the investigation into Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility while they wait for Google to provide "essential documents" relevant to the case.
The European Competition Commission had given itself 25 days to consider the deal from late November, but suspended the process so that Google could supply "certain documents that are essential for the evaluation of the transaction", a Commission spokesperson said.
Google’s acquisition can be seen as the latest move in the war for mobile technology patents currently unfolding in the smartphone market. In July this year, Google was outbid five times over for the intellectual property assets of defunct Canadian network equipment maker Nortel by a consortium including Apple and Microsoft. Research from JPMorgan asserted that Motorola Mobility owns 17,000 patents, compared with the 6,000 that were bought from Nortel and the 10,000 owned by Nokia.
Google also currently faces a European antitrust investigation into its dominance of the online search market. Other companies allege that Google unfairly pushes its own services to the top of search results, locks out rival advertising services and uses news organisations’ content unfairly.