China’s antitrust authorities are
prolonging a second investigation into Google’s $12.5 billion merger with
Motorola Mobility, the handset manufacturer said Monday in a SEC filing.
The extended probe could mean a setback
for the closing of the deal, which already has been approved by all other
necessary regulators including the U.S. Department of Justice and the European
Motorola warned that it “can
provide no assurances as to whether or when the transaction will receive
However, it said it continued to
“work closely” with the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of
Commerce People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) and still expected the acquisition
to close during the first half of this year.
The Motorola buyout gives Google control
over a top manufacturer of handsets using its Android operating system, and
Motorola’s massive 17,000-strong patent portfolio shores up the Internet
heavyweight’s legal defenses for Android, which has been beset by patent
Google has said Motorola will still run
independently once the deal closes, but that pledge was cast into doubt last
month when reports surfaced that Google planned to oust longtime Motorola chief
Sanjay Jha and install one of its own executives as president and CEO.
The rumored executive shakeup has yet to come to fruition.