China Finally OKs Google’s Acquisition Of Motorola Mobility

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It’s been just over nine months since Google announced their intentions to acquire hardware manufacturer Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, and now it seems that the final pieces of the deal have fallen into place.

According to a new report from the Associated Press, Chinese officials have finally given the Google-Motorola deal their blessing.

China’s official approval of the deal has been a long time coming — Google managed to score regulatory approvals from the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission back in February (on the same day no less), but China’s anti-monopoly bureau leapt into action just a few days later. That period of intense regulatory scrutiny is a routine part of the purchasing process, as every company that makes more than 400 million yuan ($63 million) in China and 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) globally is subject to the process.

Google and Motorola originally expected to close the deal in “early 2012″, and it turns out they weren’t too far from the market. With this final approval in place, Google has confirmed that they expect purchase to be completed some time next week.

With the long process of purchasing Motorola Mobility finally drawing to a close, Google seems to be shifting their attention to the process of selling hardware on their own. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Google was looking at fleshing out the Devices section of the Google Play Store with unlocked smartphones and tablets — all of them “lead” devices —  from up to five major hardware manufacturers. Now that Google will have their own in-house hardware team, it stands to reason that they might soon offer their own devices alongside those from hardware partners like Samsung and HTC.