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Google’s Motorola Acquisition Ups Ante in Apple Competition

(Motorola’s Droid Razr Maxx on display at the Motorola booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.)

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Google and Motorola are together at last.

American and European antitrust regulators approved the search engine giant’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility this week, paving the way for Google to compete more directly with Apple in the cellphone and mobile device market.

The $12.5 billion deal nets a huge number of Motorola patents for Google, and could mean a host of new Android-friendly phones will hit the market soon.  The New York Times reports that he deal will also give Google access to the living room through Motorola’s set-top box business, which could help the search giant in its own quest for a successful home entertainment system.

As the Motorola deal was approved, other investigations into patent purchases by Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion were dropped.

Google’s purchase is a win in the phone-selling battle against reigning champion Apple. But acquiring Motorola is a first step; the smartphone patent wars are just beginning.