Google, Motorola Mobility Merger Review Temporarily Halted by EU Regulator

European Union regulators suspended their antitrust review of plans by Google Inc. (GOOG), the biggest maker of smartphone software, to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. after requesting more information about the deal.

The antitrust authority will continue the review after it has obtained “certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction,” said Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the Brussels-based European Commission. The commission temporarily stopped the review on Dec. 6, according to a filing on the regulator’s website today.

Regulatory reviews mean the purchase by Google is likely to close in 2012, Motorola Mobility said last month. Google plans to use Motorola Mobility’s more than 17,000 patents to protect supporters of its Android software in licensing and legal disputes with rivals such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) -- and also move into the hardware business.

The EU’s request for more information is “routine,” said Al Verney, a spokesman for Google in Brussels.

“We’re confident the commission will conclude that this acquisition is good for competition and we’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review,” Verney said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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