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EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal 187

angry tapir writes "European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility. The U.S. $12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, including Consumer Watchdog, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions." Later in the day the DOJ announced an end to its investigation, greenlighting the acquisition in the U.S. as well.
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EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal

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  • Thank heavens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drhodesmumby ( 2520918 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:26PM (#39027609)

    Hopefully this will give Apple and Microsoft reason to pause for thought on its lawsuits against the Android ecosystem.

    I'm getting tired of reading about a new assault every week; 17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate (assuming of course that Apple won't try to continue the Jobs dream of killing competition entirely...).

    Also, I'll love seeing any hardware to come out of this.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:37PM (#39027697) Journal

    With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia, Apple will be facing tough challenges, both in marketplace and in courtrooms around the world

  • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:39PM (#39027711)

    Yes, because its rational for you to passionately love one company (an ad network)

    I stopped reading after "ad network" because someone who describes Google as such is either biased against Google or for Apple, which makes your comment no more rational than the first post.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:41PM (#39027731) Journal
    They won't be suing Apple, nor Microsoft out of existence. But at least they've finally brought their gun to the OK Corral. They can probably achieve a Mexican standoff.
  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:42PM (#39027745) Homepage Journal

    They're by no means perfect, but when compared to other companies their size Google does proportionately less evil.

    I'm hoping their search engine finds the "nuclear" patent holed up somewhere in Motorola's recently acquired portfolio that allows them to put an end to the other companies sue everyone else wars between Apple, Samsung and every other manufacturer out there. The "one patent to trump them all" wielded by Google that could put everyone else in a hurt locker unless they calm down and agree to play nice would be a dream and allow honest development and competition to resume.

    I'm dreaming I know. I would like wielding of patents as a weapon to go away, but hopefully a big one in the rights hands could fix some issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:52PM (#39027811)

    If you can't recognize that the iPhone is a good phone, you're just as bad as Apple "fanboys".

  • by elashish14 ( 1302231 ) <profcalc4@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:58PM (#39027873) []


    But regulators on both sides of the pond went out of their way to warn Google not to abuse the patents, with the Justice Department comparing Google's patent statements unfavorably with what Justice views as more responsible statements made by Apple and Microsoft.

    The fuck are they smoking? Am I missing something gigantic staring at me in the face? How is Google's record of 'patent statements' remotely close to being worse than those of Apple and Microsoft? Does the US DOJ actually look favorably down on Apple continuous patent 'I'll sue you out of business' hissy-fits? When has Google ever abused a patent? Has Google ever even attacked another company with patents?

    In any case, what I'd love to see is for Google to create a pool with these patents (haven't they done this already?) where anyone who enters the pool consents to agree not to sue others in the same pool. It wouldn't do much to stop patent trolls though, unless they find a way to kick out members who support them. Am I dreaming? Or should a legitimately don't-be-evil company do this?

  • FUD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarstu ( 720435 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:00PM (#39027887)

    According to the linked articles in the post, consumer advocates (or, more accurately, at least one consumer advocate that is associated with Microsoft []) are opposed to this move because it gives Google "unprecedented dominance" in the mobile market.

    None of the linked articles give any evidence of "strong opposition from open source... advocates". Can anyone explain or give examples of this supposed "strong opposition"? As is, this appears to be a mostly invented controversy.

  • by devleopard ( 317515 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:13PM (#39027999) Homepage

    You're an idiot if you think this was a acquisition meant to destroy Apple. It's quite the opposite: it's a defensive acquisition. It's a bunch of Cold War maneuvering: you fire, I fire. Any lawsuit big enough to destroy Apple (doing my best to type that without laughing) would surely come at the hands of Apple firing everything they have. Hopefully this will just keep everyone's lawyers at bay, and everyone can focus on making cool stuff.

  • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:25PM (#39028077)

    If you can't recognize that the iPhone is a good phone, you're just as bad as Apple "fanboys".

    iPhone is an OK phone, but the 4s is quite dated. Any company marketing a flagship cellular device with no 4G support at this stage in the game has missed the boat. That goes double for iphone since the data consumption on the thing is legendary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:35PM (#39028155)

    Motoroogle made some pretty bizarre statements about their FRAND patents last week, to the EU and IEEE. And they're demanding 2.25% of the retail price from Microsoft (for H.264) and Apple (for cell shit). If all the FRAND players charged at that rate, patent licenses would exceed 100% of the retail price.

    Yeah, H.264. Google is pushing WebM because they're afraid of H.264 patent trolls. To date, Motorola is the only H.264 patent troll.

    Plus attempting to cancel Apple's license (via Qualcomm's chips), which is to say they refuse to license their patents to Apple and then complain that Apple doesn't license their patents.

    Note that Motorola initiated the patent lawsuits against Apple. Maybe it was in anticipation of Apple suing them, but the reality is Motorola's is losing money and their a minor player in the android world and any copying that they're doing is far less blatant than Samsung.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:38PM (#39028173) Homepage

    And yet, if you refuse to buy because of that, you're supporting even worse life conditions than those abuses.

    And more: Chinese factories are already automating because of rising labor costs, so even if you force wages to rise that might be counter-productive if you really want to help the workers, since they'll simply be replaced by machines.

  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:48PM (#39028221)

    Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple

    Assuming they don't really have specific uses for Apple products, but then again it's not expensive to have one lying around for compatibility just as many people have Windows machines (or VMs) for that. Apple do make great products and they are high quality but there's no denying they've lost their exclusivity, the iPhone 4 (pretty sure this is still true) is the single most common smartphone in the world and the 3GS is dirt cheap (i've got 2 in my drawer, one relegated to being my workout ipod) which does push them into commodity device territory, like owning a Nokia in the late 90s/early 00s. But hey, if they can maintain their 'cool' image, continue to build high quality products and keep pace with industry innovation then there's no reason to think they will fall from their lofty position.

  • by ThePeices ( 635180 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:49PM (#39028227)

    The iPhone is a good phone, so are a few Android phones.

    The fanbois show their true colours when they cannot accept any other phone or brand is as good as theirs.
    They also do when they go on and on and on about how crap all the other phones are and how wonderful theirs is.

    Reality, as always, is usually smack down the middle.

  • by backspaces ( 747193 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:16PM (#39028399) Homepage

    I like both Apple and Google, use lots of both.

    But when I got my latest phone, I decided against Android simply because the handset makers and the carriers pissed all over Vanilla Android to "improve" it.

    So now I get Google building a standard. Unlocked. Updateable. Frequency agile. GSM. Mobile world wide.

    Heck, I even want Google to build their own cellular network or at the least a MVNO.

    This is not a fight between Apple and Google. Its a fight against both of them against the horrid carriers and clueless handset mfgrs.

    Let the battle begin!

  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:24AM (#39028867)

    "If you can persuade your customer to tattoo your name on their chest, they probably will not switch brands."

    -- An Indiana University professor on Harley Davidson owners

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:31AM (#39028899)

    And with Motorola Mobility it seems Google gets a nice little patent war chest. I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence to be honest.

    I think this move by google is an excellent one from a business perspective because they did indeed buy Moto Mobility for the patents and this will now allow them to have real leverage and ownership of key patents that are used on mobile telephony.

    It will also ensure that android continues to be actively developed.

    People need to start treating these companies a bit more fairly, a lot is a stake and the more competition there is, the more innovation there is and the better (i.e. lower) prices we pay as consumers.

    IMHO if apple had their way, everyone would have an iphone, ipad, imac, itunes account, icloud storage and apple undies to go with it. That would lead to them winding back on innovation and leave us with no other choices....a very boring world to live in. They would also charge way more for their over prices products then they do as is in that scenario.

    Lets also be honest here and admit that apple does not play real fair at the manufacturing/patent levels with other companies, competitors and also how they handle production by way of out sourcing it. IN fact they royally screw us over on pricing here in Australia so I am all for anything that forces them to give us the end user a fairer deal and better value for our hard earned dollars.

    Now before anyone says i am anti this or that, I have an apple macbook pro and I also use MS products extensively in my role at work. After 15yrs in the industry i care more for things being fit for purpose then i do for brand names so save me the flame.


  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:05AM (#39029765)

    Apple has the most brand loyal customers on the planet

    It's just a fad

    Just like any other fads, this "Apple frenzy fad" will become stale, people will lose interest in Apple, once a new-kid-in-town with new fangle tricks appears

    I've heard that mantra so many times before when the iMac came out, when the iPod came out, when the iPhone came out, when the iPod touch came out and when the iPad 1 came out. Are you seeing a pattern here? I keep on seeing people on slashdot predicting the demise of Apple year after year.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @04:37AM (#39030171) Journal

    How is THAT insightful mods, seriously? MSFT may have other revenue but the majority comes from Windows and Office so it would be logical to call them an OS and Office software company, yes? Apple gets most of its money from consumer devices so they can be called a consumer devices company, following?

    Show me where Google makes more than a tiny pittance on ANYTHING bsides ads, lets hear it. Not android because they are product dumping that to the tune of a billion bucks in development a year, not ChromeOS, again they are dumping it gratis, Chrome? nope, are they able to dump billions in software for absolutely no money? Are they making the money from rainbows and puppy farts?

    That would be ADS paying those billions PLUS billions in revenues AND profits friend. You can gussy it up all you want, pretend it don't exist all you please, but if you shut down Google's ad business they would be gone in less than a year. Now what would that make Google, could it be, oh I don't AD company perhaps?

    Seriously I don't know when all the damned corporate cheerleading started but when someone gets a +4 just for going "Nuh uh, you must be teh shill for not loving teh googles!" this place is getting seriously fucked up. its a fucking company okay, do you wear Google PJs too? Its like the old Mel Brooks bit "All go to hell except cave 76!" because its nothing but pointless flag waving and perception bubbles all around. None of the above companies are your pal, none of them frankly give a flying fuck about you okay? And if any of the big three could see their profits go up by 15% by throwing you in a cage with a horny silverback you'd be getting gorilla loving before you could say "Do no evil!". so just cut the crap okay? We're supposed to be geeks not sheep.

    As for TFA I don't if this could be considered a good thing or a bad thing for Google. Google obviously thinks its a good thing but what company is gonna want to use Android on a phone if they have to compete with the OS developer's phone? While this will give Google an Apple style solution, with the ability to integrate hardware and software nicely which looks to be the way the other guys are gonna all do it, MSFT and Nokia, Apple making their own, and now Google with Motorola, what company is gonna want to run android when it will be inferior to the Google Phone? On a positive note maybe this will breathe new life into WebOS as all the OEMs left out in the cold by this deal can simply customize it to their hardware and like Android is gratis.

  • by makomk ( 752139 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @06:17AM (#39030659) Journal

    The main result of how the EU - and now apparently the US - are interpreting FRAND and standards seems to be that companies who've spent a fortune on actual R&D to make mobile networks and smartphones actually possible will find that they aren't actually allowed to sell phones using the technology they developed because someone else has got a huge thicket of patents on daft things like detecting phone numbers in messages and offering to call them. Worse still, they'll have to offer up the technology they developed to the company driving them out of business at a knock-down price.

    There's a reason why mobile phone companies have insisted on comprehensive cross-licensing deals in the past. What the EU is doing is effectively favoring crap patents over ones based on actual, fundamental R&D that everyone benefits from. Do you think there'll be any companies willing to help develop the next-generation 4G and 5G standards after this, if they won't actually be able to make any money from it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @07:31AM (#39030953)

    Here's another idea. Perhaps Apple now represents a recognisable, trusted brand. People may think (rightly or wrongly) that anything Apple sells is probably well made, works well, and is reasonably priced for a name brand.

    Much like HP used to be. Once upon a time you could trust that anything HP made was high quality, and well designed and therefore probably worth the money. Even if there were cheaper alternatives, you could "trust" HP.

    Now, perhaps interest and "fanboyism" over Apple will fade. But unless they start making crap, or damage their reputation in other ways, I suspect they will retain much of their brand loyalty.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.