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Google's Bid to Acquire Motorola Faces DOJ Scrutiny

In brazen defiance of modern tradition, the U.S. Justice Department appears to attempting to enforce U.S. laws as though they have the authority to do so granted to them by the U.S. Constitution. Less than a month ago, they surprised everyone by actually noticing that AT&T's attempt to purchase T-Mobile probably runs afoul of U.S. Anti-Trust law, and issued a motion to block the acquisition. And it appears that they're treating Google's proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility with similar skepticism. Today, news emerged that the DOJ has made a second request for information about the buyout. (The full document is available online).

Naturally the Google/Motorola Mobility deal isn't saddled by the same issues as the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile combo. AT&T and T-Mobile offer competing products; a merger would necessarily reduce market competition and give AT&T an unfair edge. Google and Motorola Mobility do not actually compete with one another directly and it's therefore likely the deal will ultimately be approved. However, Google business practices have come under increased scrutiny as of late, culminating in recent congressional hearings investigating whether the company behaves in a monopolistic fashion. It's therefore refreshing to see the DOJ continuing that scrutiny after a decade dominated by a less strict approach to business law enforcement.

  • Jerky_san
    GO GOOGLE O_O Then hopefully they buy sprint and take AT&T head on!
    Reply
  • a sandwhich
    I don't honestly think google should acquire sprint. Would be a bit of setback in quality in opinion. Live right next to the sprint campus and recently took a tour. Wasn't the best run, and they haven't been that stable in terms of layoffs.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    And ... what are they doing about Apple?

    That company is the text-book definition of what you shouldn't be allowed to do.
    Reply
  • bobusboy
    Jerky_sanGO GOOGLE O_O Then hopefully they buy sprint and take AT&T head on!
    I am against monopolies where ever they spring up. I don't believe that google should be allowed to buy motorola.
    Reply
  • xerroz
    I hope the acquisition is blocked
    Reply
  • southernshark
    The issue here though is that Moto is probably not a sustainable company on its own two feet. It has to be either acquired or liquidated so that puts the DOJ on different footing than the ATT deal, where each company was viable and self sustaining. Also we should keep in mind that vertical monopolies are not illegal under US law, only horizontal monopolies are illegal. Google might be a horizontal monopoly in the search engine space, but it is obviously not a monopoly in the smart phone/ tablet arena.
    Reply
  • why can't google acquire motorola. if they don't implement any competition, expect the iphone to sell for $500 with contract. Google is just trying to give people a chance to afford things. Look what the give away. Free phone and tables every time they have a conference or google io. Apple gives nothing. Google gives you, free gmail,picassa,googlevoice,free telephone number for life,free blog website,free music storage, and upcoming free internet too. Apple gives nothing. Microsoft and Apple want to charge for everything, Having their premium customers and users enjoy exclusivity and the peasants can't afford none of that. and now they want to stop android, so microsoft can sell a HTC phone for $499 with contract when android is giving it for $199 with contract. and then people say economy is bad.
    Reply
  • face-plants
    Ross, the typo(s) at the very beginning of this article confuse the entire basis for the rest of the story.

    "...the U.S. Justice Department appears to attempting to enforce U.S. laws as though they have the authority to do so granted to them by the U.S. Constitution."

    Is it the Dept. of Justice's job or not? If it is their responsibility to enforce anti-trust laws then more power to them. I hardly consider the DOJ asking for information TWO separate times to be a roadblock when it comes to multi-billion dollar business takeovers.
    Reply
  • why can't google acquire motorola. if they don't implement any competition, expect the iphone to sell for $500 with contract. Google is just trying to give people a chance to afford things. Look what the give away. Free phone and tables every time they have a conference or google io. Apple gives nothing. Google gives you, free gmail,picassa,googlevoice,free telephone number for life,free blog website,free music storage, and upcoming free internet too. Apple gives nothing. Microsoft and Apple want to charge for everything, Having their premium customers and users enjoy exclusivity and the peasants can't afford none of that. and now they want to stop android, so microsoft can sell a HTC phone for $499 with contract when android is giving it for $199 with contract. and then people say economy is bad.
    Reply
  • face-plants
    Southernshark, are you saying that Motorola's Mobility division isn't sustainable on its own.... or that everything else that's left after selling off Moto Mobility won't be sustainable?
    I can see how selling only the profitable bits to Google while leaving the rest of Motorola to wither could be cause for concern
    Reply