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EU Regulators Delay Google's Motorola Buy, Seeking More Info

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the power-to-destroy dept.

Government 45

judgecorp writes "The European Commission is delaying Google's proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility, saying it wants 'more infromation.' Europe may be nervous of the power the purchase will give Google in the mobile space."

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First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354802)

First Post

Monopoly concerns (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354816)

I fully understand it. They bought Shitorola for the 70,000 patents that came with the package. That company had been in the red for years and became irrelevant even before that. This puts Google in an advantageous position in the mobile market where they can leverage their monopoly by making Android close source.

I never trusted that Any Rubin hypocrite and time proved me right.

--
I'm an arrogant asshole [mailto] , so I work for Google now.

Re:Monopoly concerns (1)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354986)

Bad troll, bad..

Re:Monopoly concerns (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358180)

Absolutely, only Microsoft and Apple should be allowed to patent trolls. Other companies should not even be allowed to defend themselves against MS and Apple.

By the way: how many scam lawsuits has Google filed? And how about MS and Apple?

Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354912)

Motorola Problems (opposite of Solutions) is a US company.
Google is a US company.

Why is the EU even getting involved at all? This has nothing to do with them, other than the fact that some of their lobbyists see Apple dollars and that hamstringing this merger would help keep Apple with the upper hand in this patent polka that all the phone companies are forced to play.

Maybe the EU should look at other things like banks, and their problems.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354982)

Google is incorporated in the EU too and they review all big mergers like this. You're talking nonsense.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355090)

I agree with you, big mergers should be reviewed... though the timing seems slightly suspicious... motorola announces a battle with apple... and pouf, they get called in by the regulator. In this case, given apple's litigative anti competitive behavior, it may be a good way to even out the playing field

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355744)

Our instead of making up conspiracies you can notice how the article quotes Google that this is routine procedure.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38360176)

Of course Google would never ever in there life time abuse any sort of power or monopoly they have? Everyone big company abuses power again typical slashdot comments, "Well gosh its google, they can never ever do wrong ("evil")" hahaha.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (3, Informative)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355100)

This is probably why the EU is interested in the Google purchase of Motorola. The listing below are just the UK company details, I'm quite sure there's a Google and Motorola Solutions office in each EU member state. Just because the group head office is in the US doesn't remove the merger being scrutinised by non-US entities. One would think the you consider the USA is the centre of the world by your last comment...

MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS UK LIMITED
JAYS CLOSE
VIABLES IND EST
BASINGSTOKE HANTS
RG22 4PD
Company No. 00912182

And

GOOGLE UK LIMITED
BELGRAVE HOUSE
76 BUCKINGHAM PALACE ROAD
LONDON
SW1W 9TQ
Company No. 03977902

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355946)

All true, but Google isn't buying Motorola Solutions. They're getting the mobility version. It was a single company up until a year ago.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357260)

Of course it's more than likely to be more complicated than that :)

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358938)

I'm 100% sure that Moto is present in EU. At the very least in Germany.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (5, Informative)

jperl (1453911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355112)

Motorola Problems (opposite of Solutions) is a US company. Google is a US company.

Why is the EU even getting involved at all? This has nothing to do with them, other than the fact that some of their lobbyists see Apple dollars and that hamstringing this merger would help keep Apple with the upper hand in this patent polka that all the phone companies are forced to play.

Maybe the EU should look at other things like banks, and their problems.

Google has officially asked the EU regulation commission on its statement to the merger.
Even though the commission could not stop them from merging, there could be serious consequences after the merger in the EU member states.
So it is in Google's best interest, to get an OK by the EU.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355144)

Really dawg?

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (2)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355148)

Oh, I forgot ... EU Banks? Didn't the US banks kicked off this whole mess in the first place?

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355332)

The US financial crisis and the rating agencies didn't help, but they mostly uncovered the crap that was already accumulated - unsustainable policies, hidden debt, lack of a real common vision as an Union, etc. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355966)

Yeah, I have copies of the Economist going back to 2004 point out the dangers of Euro Debt while questioning the longevity of the Euro.

Credible Sources... (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356536)

To be frank, reading about the EU and Euro in a British publication is about as reasonable as reading about Jews in the Al-Qaida magazine.

Re:Credible Sources... (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357282)

To be frank, reading about the EU and Euro in a British publication is about as reasonable as reading about Jews in the Al-Qaida magazine.

This made me LOL.

Re:Credible Sources... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357318)

(Shrug) Whatever. If they're right, they're right.

Re:Credible Sources... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38370412)

Uhm... They were exactly correct for the exact reasons they mentioned. At the time you could have disputed their opinion of what was bound to happen given the facts they collected ( like debt as percentage of GDP and lack of fiscal discipline or unity amongst the Euro zone economies ), but you can't now. It went down exactly like they said it would for the exact reasons why they said it would.

Its not a bad thing to be biased against a really bad idea. Its like saying Science journal is biased against Creationisim and for evolution. Well, yes. Yes it is, for good, logical, reasons.

Amazing Hindsight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38370824)

I'm sorry but I strongly disagree. This is a case of 20/20 hindsight.

They did not know that the US banks were going to collapse and lead to worldwide problems.

Or that those problems would manifest in Greece. It was not common knowledge that Greece entered the Eurozone using inflated numbers. If you can show that they knew this I will retract my statement.

It was not clear at the time that it would be problem, the Eurozone worked until quite recently. The debt became a larger problem with the change of circumstances. Perhaps they should have taken this into account as well, but nations are not treated like ordinary bank customers.

The Economist did talk about their theories and the potential risks. That doesn't make it clear that they knew something we didn't. It was speculation and theories.

The British press is known for its bias, ridiculous claims and misrepresentation of facts.

Re:Amazing Hindsight (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38376326)

I strongly disagree with that. They clearly outlined the problems with Greece from day one. The whole idea of the Euro ever working is and always has been a fantasy, just like the idea that housing prices would always go up.

The British press is on whole very terrible, you'll get no arguments from me in general. However, the Economist is quite different from news of the world or even the London Times. You paint with too broad a brush.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355362)

It was pretty much just banks in general with their dodgy loan policies wasn't it?

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38381358)

Yep

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355314)

You haven't been paying attention. The EU likes to make themselves relevant for all kinds of mergers that aren't any of their business. (Oracle/Sun and GE/Honeywell off the top of my head). Doubly so when it could affect a European company -- perhaps you've heard of Nokia?

correction, it is their business (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356258)

You haven't been paying attention. The EU likes to make themselves relevant for all kinds of mergers that aren't any of their business. (Oracle/Sun and GE/Honeywell off the top of my head). Doubly so when it could affect a European company -- perhaps you've heard of Nokia?

If a US-based company is also registered in the EU and conducts massive business operations therein, then mergers and acquisitions by said company are, you know, kinda like "ZOMG Kim Kardashian LOLCATS" under EU jurisdiction. Ergo, it is their business to nose around.

I think the EU's nosing around in these mergers (Moto+Google, Oracle+Sun) are really stupid (and horrendously costly for the companies involved). But we are not debating the is/ought meta-ethics conundrum, but observing the EU exercising its legal jurisdiction muscles, which are sovereignty theirs to flex.

Don't Understand? (3, Interesting)

andersh (229403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356468)

All of the companies mentioned operate in Europe, that makes it the EU's business. You clearly don't understand the situation.

I'm assuming you're an American, it seems you have very strong feelings about "your" companies despite the fact that they operate abroad. They're incorporated in Europe. If they operate in the EU, they're subject to European laws. If you want to sell your products in Europe, you will be subject to our market regulations and laws.

The same principle applies to European and other companies in other markets including the US. You're being very narrow minded and strongly nationalistic, yet your nation, the United States of America, is the strongest advocate of globalization and free trade.

If you can't take the pain, don't play the game!

As for your ludicrous claim that this has anything to do with Nokia, Europeans are not "Europeans" first and foremost. Nokia is a Finnish concern. There are few if any other European countries interested in what happens to a Finnish company. Did you even know that there are several other European cellphone makers? SonyEricsson of Sweden for example, and there are others.

Your next suggestion would probably be "lobbyists", however the European equivalent of the US Congress, the European Parliament, doesn't really have that kind of power and neither do the lobbyists. We're not as corrupt as the US on a federal level, that remains on a national level.

In the EU the national leaders are all naturally looking out for their own country's interests, the EU itself on the other hand cuts evenly and is only interested in fair competition regardless of your origin. The EU's competition authority and courts don't give a rats ass about your claims, they're vigilant and justly so, in the interest of the average European consumer.

Re:Don't Understand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38405870)

I think that the situation in Europe has proven there is no such thing as the "average European consumer." Let the governments of Europe have a say in whether such a merger is good for their people. Bureaucrats know about as much about what's good for consumers as they know about monetary policy, which is not much.

Re:Wonder how much Apple paid the EU regulators... (1, Funny)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356142)

Motorola Problems (opposite of Solutions) is a US company. Google is a US company.

Why is the EU even getting involved at all? This has nothing to do with them, other than the fact that some of their lobbyists see Apple dollars and that hamstringing this merger would help keep Apple with the upper hand in this patent polka that all the phone companies are forced to play.

Maybe the EU should look at other things like banks, and their problems.

Bro, the existence of conglomerates with assets in multiple continents (and thus subject to multiple judicial systems) is a hard to grasp notion in that isolated cow town of yours, ain't it <pulls out banjo>squeal little piggie</pulls out banjo>

Bah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354934)

They should also demand Google to change Youtube back to how it was 3-4 years ago. It's a complete cluster-f*** of a mess now.

Dangerous delays (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354946)

Although I am generally in favor of the government organizations checking on private companies (I think there is no such thing as a *fully* free market), I think the EU is sometimes overshooting their goal. It seems to me that there is no reason to disallow this deal. So generally what happens is just the delay, which can kill the value of the company that is being taken over. Sure, large take overs take time, but adding time to the deal in this fast paced sector can cost tens to hundreds of millions of dollars really quick. Hopefully they will not take months (again) to validate the deal.

Re:Dangerous delays (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355000)

The reason the EU is stepping in is that both companies are American, and even though they have little to no interest in financial problems, or restrictive laws (like the ACTA treaty), going after two American firms is top priority because it is an easy target.

Re:Dangerous delays (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355032)

The US Justice Department issued its own request for additional documents in September, delaying US progress on the deal.

Re:Dangerous delays (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355542)

And you don't see the difference between a US regulatory agency looking into a merger between two American companies and an EU agency doing the same?

The EU is welcome to do whatever they please, but it does not alter the question of why. (Based on other posts it seems the answer in this case is "because Google asked them to," though that has nothing at all to do with what the Justice Department is or is not doing.)

Let's be honest... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356042)

And you don't see the difference between a US regulatory agency looking into a merger between two American companies and an EU agency doing the same?

Isn't it odd how people still believe a multinational corporation is "American" in spite of all of our previous discussions about how they have restructured themselves to minimize their US corporate taxes, spreading their assets and operations in different jurisdictions, and embedding their revenue gathering into many world markets?

On the one hand, I don't feel that these corporations deserve a very protective stance by the American people, since they have clearly turned their backs on us and attempted to minimize their obligations to us. On the other hand, I also see that their future depends on their access to multiple world markets, so they would be foolish to take an isolationist stance with what is a strategic merger of assets and operations.

Re:Dangerous delays (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356288)

And you don't see the difference between a US regulatory agency looking into a merger between two American companies and an EU agency doing the same?

The EU is welcome to do whatever they please, but it does not alter the question of why.

Maybe because both companies (Shitorola and Google) are also registered in the EU, and both conduct substantial operations therein? Just a pretty fucking wild guess.

Open Android (3, Interesting)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355086)

My question is, will they open the bootloader of the motorola phones that have been, or will be, released so that they have a truly open device?

Re:Open Android (3, Interesting)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355242)

If they were to offer such a feature, I'm guessing they would also give carriers the option to disable it.

Re:Open Android (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355832)

I wouldn't mind seeing a device ship locked, but with fastboot oem unlock available. This way, there is at least a barrier against the Dancing Bunnies attack, where Joe Sixpack is at least likely to think twice if he has to download a package from Oracle, then one from Google, and after installing those, type some commands in a funny window in order to get some app to work.

I'd love to see Motorola do like HTC and offer not just an open bootloader, but full ROM images ready to use for custom modding. Especially things like Webtop and such.

Re:Open Android (1)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358092)

Yes, I'd be good with that option as well. I'm seriously considering HTC as my next device. Had no troubles unlocking, rooting, and putting a rom on my HTC Flyer tablet. Was much easier than working with my DroidX.

Re:Open Android (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358456)

Exactly. My HTC Inspire 4G, I rooted, gold-card S/OFF-ed, and unlocked while in the AT&T store. The Droid X now isn't too bad (I SHX flashed to the latest ROM, then rooted and added ClockworkMod for fast and thorough backups [1].)

What is annoying is that new models like the Atrix 2 don't even have factory ROMs out in the wild, so even a soft brick/bootloop isn't recoverable at this time.

Mostly a formality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357140)

I really don't see a reason why the EU will say no. Neither entity is posed to control too much of any market even after they combine. There are plenty of other industries that have both first and third party hardware on the market and they thrive.

I look forward to Google's first party devices because, hopefully, they will set the bar for what an android device should be. That's the problem that keeps me away from an android phone, really. It's that there is no truly practical standard level of device longevity, features, or, quality. Any given android device is a massive unknown and you're taking a huge risk getting a device as launch day. Is the carrier or device maker going to abandon it? Will it have nasty bugs? Will the bugs ever get fixed? Will I be able to use the next version of android? Will it be 12 months late when I can? The trouble is, you don't know these things until.. Well. The next generation is already out.

I want all the new toys and I want some safety in the longevity in my device and the platformitself. I have that, right now, with my iphone.

Google seems to be cleaning a lot of this up with ICS. New, stricter hardware requirements and more standardization of, well, everything. I'm pretty sure they recognize that bad devices hurt their brand name. With any luck my first android phone will be an ICS devices. I'd be many times more tempted if it were a first party device from Google itself!

Microsoft Windows 8 ARM tablet ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361980)

Now that the DOJ's consent degree and Penfield's / Kotar-Kelly's solution has failed, MS is going into tablets, on ARM no less.

Naturally all their upcoming development tools will bind Windows servers to Windows tablets, for "an enhanced tablet experience".

So where is the outrage over the failed EU / DOJ solutions to the Windows monopoly problem?

There must be 20 search alternatives now in the IE list of choices.

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