US applies brakes to Google-Motorola

The DOJ is seeking more information in what Google says is a 'routine request'

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Google for more information about its planned US$12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility, potentially slowing the transaction, Google said in a blog post Wednesday.

Google received a so-called "second request" from the DOJ asking for more details with which to evaluate the deal. The acquisition is Google's largest ever and would marry the top search company with one of the biggest sellers of Android-based devices.

"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 said in a post on its Public Policy Blog. It called the request "pretty routine."

Its dominance of the search market means Google is no stranger to regulatory scrutiny. Its acquisitions of AdMob and ITA Software, among others, were examined closely, and the Justice Department also reviewed its settlement with publishers over Google Books.

Google said last month it would buy Motorola Mobility, a move that will bring it a large patent portfolio and give it control over the development of some Android-based devices.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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