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WSJ: Justice Department Set To Approve Google-Motorola Deal

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The U.S. Department of Justice is poised to approve Google Inc.'s (GOOG: Quote) $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI: Quote) as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

However, antitrust authorities in the U.S. and Europe still remain concerned about Google's commitment to license Motorola patents to competitors on fair terms, according to the WSJ report. The European Commission has set a Monday deadline to decide on whether to approve the deal.

Google, in mid-August, agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility for $40 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion. The deal, which has the unanimous approval of the boards of both companies, is expected currently to close early this year.

The proposed deal is seen as a shot in the arm for Google after it lost out on the deal to acquire the 6,000 patents of Nortel Networks Corp. (NRTLQ.OB). Motorola Mobility has one of the strongest patent portfolios in the industry with over 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending.

The proposed deal is also expected to boost competition in mobile computing as Motorola Mobility has been a dedicated Android partner in developing and distributing innovative Android-powered devices. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google earlier said it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business following the closure of the deal.

Meanwhile, the WSJ also reported that the Justice Department is poised to clear a second technology patent deal that will allow a consortium of tech companies including Apple Inc. (AAPL: Quote), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: Quote) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM: Quote,RIM.TO: Quote) to acquire the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion. The consortium had emerged as the winning bidder for the Nortel patents in late June 2011.

GOOG closed Wednesday's trading at $609.85, up $3.08 or 0.51 percent on a volume of 1.84 million shares, while MMI closed trading at $38.96, up $0.08 or 0.21 percent on a volume of 9.18 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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