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Google’s Android Mobile Software Will Remain Free, Schmidt Says

Google Inc. will keep the Android software free for mobile-phone makers even after completing a planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Chairman Eric Schmidt said.

The deal to buy Motorola Mobility won’t “violate the openness of Android,” and the company will be run independently, Schmidt said at a media briefing in Seoul today.

Google in August agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in its largest acquisition. The deal is aimed at helping Mountain View, California-based Google expand in the phone market in a rivalry with Apple Inc. The purchase will also bring more than 17,000 patents Google can use to protect the Android software platform.

Schmidt yesterday met with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak and executives from companies including Samsung Electronics Co., Google’s biggest Android partner.

Schmidt told Lee the company will start a video-streaming service on YouTube for South Korean pop music and initiate a program to support local software makers.

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