WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Justice Department will approve Google’s $12.5 billion bid to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc, according to sources close to the antitrust review.
The department is also expected to approve an Apple-led consortium’s bid to acquire a group of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.
Both deals are expected to be cleared early next week.
Google, whose Android software is the top operating system for Internet-enabled smart phones, announced in August it planned to acquire phone-maker Motorola Mobility.
The deal will give Google one of the mobile phone industry’s largest patent libraries, as well as hardware manufacturing operations that will allow Google to develop its own line of smart phones.
The Apple-led consortium, which includes RIM, Microsoft, EMC, Ericsson and Sony, had agreed in July pay $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications that telecom-equipment maker Nortel had put up for sale, including coveted 4G wireless technologies.
The companies joined forces to outbid Google for the patents.
Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, has been under increasing regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union are both investigating Google’s business practices. The company faces accusations it uses its clout in the search market to beat rivals as it moves into related businesses.
The Justice Department will likely continue monitoring patent litigation in the telecom space, according to the sources.
The department of Justice, Google, and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reporting By Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn