Today, Google announced plans to buy Motorola Mobile, or as one of my friends put it in a Facebook post: “In other news, Google moves forward with their plans for total world domination… good for them.” The search giant says:
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
This move, however, has some anti-monopoly hackles raised. Jamie Court, president and CEO of Consumer Watchdog, issued a statement raising questions about the acquisition. He wrote:
What if Google, the master of the cloud computing universe and the Internet’s information monopolist, were to buy Intel, Apple, or IBM? Would we want the company that controls information outside of our computers all along the Internet to also have control over a principal computer hardware maker and its patents?
Anti-trust regulators looking at Google’s proposed takeover of Motorola might ask themselves the same type of question. Do you want the mobile phone information monopolist (through its Android operating system and apps) to own a principle mobile manufacturer and its patent technology?
It’s hard to imagine that this deal would face any real opposition, especially in the wake of the Comcast-NBC deal…or that any potential customers are even really worried. After all, if you own an Android phone you’re already on board with a Google monopoly, sailing from Marvin Gardens to Boardwalk without much complaint.