Google Will Keep Android Free At Least Until 2017

Google's $12.5 billion (£7.9 billion) purchase of Motorola had to meet worldwide approval. The EU Commission and the US Department of Justice have granted approvals for Google's merger with Motorola, leaving the Chinese authorities to potentially spoil the expensive deal.

The Chinese regulators agreed with Google's decision to purchase Motorola Mobility, but, according to recent reports, they asked Google to keep Android free for at least five more years.

Google has never announced its intentions to alter the current availability of its mobile platform. There is, however, a certain concern in the market, following Google's decision to purchase Motorola.

Google could rely on Motorola Mobility in order to develop its own smartphone business. In this case, Google might be very interested in favouring Motorola-based units in the use of Android OS.

However, Google is not the sole owner of Android. The platform was created and developed by the Open Handset Alliance, in which Google is only a member.

Despite the fact that Google is the biggest contributor to the organization, it cannot restrict Android to other manufacturers. The Chinese regulators might have been overly cautious, considering that carriers and manufacturers have developed their own Android customizations, but it was evidently seen as worth being cautious.

Source: Reuters