Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility could soon be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), sources told the Wall Street Journal. The DOJ is reportedly poised to issue a formal approval on the deal as early as next week.
A mark of approval from the DOJ would be a welcome step forward for Google in its quest to acquire Motorola's handset business. The DOJ has been poring over the proposed $12.5 billion acquisition for months, including a September ruling to extend its review period beyond the originally-stated deadline.
While the approval could boost the deal's chances for ultimately gaining approval, the two firms still face a number of challenges. Antitrust authorities in the U.S. and Europe have been hesitant to sign off on the proposed merger.
If completed, the acquisition could help to alter the face of the mobile hardware and software markets. While Google has committed to running the hardware branch as a separate entity, some industry pundits that should handset vendors feel the Android maker is giving preferential treatment to its hardware unit, alternative mobile platforms could gain the backing of major hardware vendors.
The deal could also have legal implications. Among the properties Google is set to gain under the deal are a number of patents which could prove useful to the company in settling long-standing intellectual property disputes over Android.