Google’s $12.5 billion bid for Motorola may be facing some hurdles. Dennis Woodside, the company’s senior VP in charge of the takeover, revealed in a post that the Department of Justice has sent a second request for information. This could be a sign that there are still more serious concerns, however, Woodside downplayed the significance and expressed confidence in the deal going through.
The second request for information doesn’t mean that the DOJ will necessarily oppose the deal, although it does suggest that additional concerns have arisen that could potentially be serious enough to block the merger. The acquisition will certainly be delayed now and Google may have to make some concessions to address the concerns in order to move forward.
“This is pretty routine; we’ve gotten these kind of requests before,” insisted Woodside. “While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes.”
Google’s initial argument for its purchase of Motorola Mobility focused on protecting the Android platform by securing the phone manufacturer’s massive patent portfolio. The company insisted that Motorola would run as a separate entity and that it would not receive any special treatment to maintain a competitive environment for other Android manufacturers. However, recent rumors along with Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s own comment about Google’s interest in Motorola’s hardware have raised new concerns.
Continued success of rivals in targeting Android partners in patent battles, with the most recent being Microsoft’s deal with Samsung, announced this morning, also weaken Google’s purchase of Motorola as a defensive measure. Commitment to Android may wane as phone manufacturers become increasingly concerned with the Google-Motorola deal becoming anti-competitive, which may encourage them to form new ties with Microsoft for more Windows Phone 7 collaboration.