SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google says European regulators have approved its $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings.
The clearance announced Monday by the European Union removes a key hurdle to Google completing the biggest deal in its 13-year history.
Google Inc. still needs government approval in the U.S., China, Taiwan and Israel before it can take control of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
The other regulatory are expected to be completed soon. Google Inc. says it hopes to complete the Motorola acquisition early this year.
The deal was announced six months ago.
Google is counting on Motorola's more than 17,000 patents to help shield its Android operating system from lawsuits alleging intellectual theft.
In granting its approval, the European Union raised concerns about Motorola's aggressive enforcement of its patents.