When we last heard about Google's deal to buy Motorola, the EU  and the US had approved the deal. The one major market we were left waiting on is China and now, according to the Associated Press (known around here as "the other AP"), the country's regulators have given Google the green light. The deal is now expected to close next week.

The biggest asset of the deal is, of course, Motorola's 17,000+ patents. Google has already promised that it will not interfere with Motorola's dealings and continue to operate the company entirely independently. The approach would make sense in the context of rumors that Google would be expanding it Nexus line. If Google were to feature multiple manufacturers in its Nexus line, it could promote a Motorola Nexus without playing favorites in the Nexus program.

Chinese regulators did include a few provisos on the deal, however. First of all, Google must continue to offer Android for free and open source for at least the next five years. This shouldn't be a problem, as this has generally been Google's plan for years. However, it could cause problems if Google were to pull a move like they did with Honeycomb, where they withheld source code for nearly a year because it "wasn't ready," Google could face worse than internet outrage. The company might face legal troubles.

China also echoes other regulators in that Google must continue to treat OEMs in a non-discriminatory manner, and must honor Motorola's existing patent licenses on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory ("FRAND") terms.

So, not much has changed, aside from Google's super special extra-honest promises are now being enforced by third-party regulators. This can only be a good thing.

Sources: Associated Press, Wolters Kluwer

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • AppleFUD

    Maybe after this deal is done we won't have to listen to Android haters going on about Android becoming closed any time soon. . . and give that dead horse a rest for a few years.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I'd honestly started to wonder if China had forgotten about this.  I was getting tired of reminding people the deal hadn't actually gone through yet.  6 months is a long time to wait.

    So, anybody else hoping to see announcements drop like dominos now?

  • Freak4Dell

    I still don't see what the big deal is about them giving Motorola preference for the Nexus line. It would be far better for them to do things in house, and they'd have more control, so we wouldn't see a Nexus that seems like it's more Samsung than it is Google.

    Sure, it sucks that other companies wouldn't get to be the first to release a phone with the newest version of Android, but so what? That happens to companies all the time...learn to deal with it.

    I certainly hope we see a Motorola Nexus. Motorola radios have typically always been excellent, and so far, they haven't seemed to have jumped into the ludicrous penis size competition of the cell phone industry (i.e. the "our screen is bigger than yours" competition).

  • Dark

    All I have to say is finally. I'm really stoked about this. I hope we do get to see a Motorola Nexus device and less blur and more of vanilla android experience. Although, from what I've seen from the razer leaks blur doesn't seem to be so bad in ics.

  • Asphyx

    This is great news for Android and Moto users!
    does anyone else find it funny how China was the one to insist on them keeping Android Open Source yet the two entities who are all about Freedon did not? lol

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Don't forget, China is the one government that made an absolute decision to switch to a custom version of Linux for all government offices.  Naturally they want to see Android left open because they are almost certainly planning to do the same once it's matured a little more.

      Another reason they want it to remain open source is related to the few hundred companies that are almost universally manufacturing all of the hardware in China.  iOS is popular, but if Apple ever decided that they didn't want to manufacture in China, it would cost the country a lot of jobs and money.  The same is somewhat true of Windows Phone, while LG, HTC and Samsung are happily plugging away in that region, Nokia tends to avoid producing flagship devices in China.  Of the (let's just say 500) companies that think they've got viable Android products, I'd bet (I'm going to make up the number 490) of them do the bulk of their manufacturing in China or nearby (and may move their operations to China someday).  If Google closed doors on the Android source, it would mean half of those companies would lose a product line and China would lose jobs.

      • Asphyx

        LOL Cody I wasn't suggesting that China did not have selfish reasons for the move.
        If they would do a bit more to guard against piracy they might not lose so much closed source manufacturing jobs.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          Ahh, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that at all.  You've got a good point though, the "free" nations didn't seem to care very much about ensuring Google holds true to promises.