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EU Restarts Antitrust Review of Google-Motorola Mobility Bid

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- European Union regulators restarted their antitrust review of plans by Google Inc., the biggest maker of smartphone software, to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

The European Commission set a new deadline of Feb. 13 to rule on the deal. It stopped the review on Dec. 6 to seek more information from the companies.

Regulatory reviews mean the purchase by Google is likely to close in 2012, Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility said in November. 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. -- and also move into the hardware business.

Al Verney, a spokesman for Google in Brussels, declined to comment. Jennifer Erickson, a spokeswoman for Motorola Mobility, didn’t immediately respond to a call and an e-mail seeking comment.

Google’s shares gained 0.97 percent on the news, or $6.66 to $638.60 before falling back to $635.74 at 2:05 p.m. in New York trading.

Mountain View, California-based Google and Motorola Mobility in September received a request for additional information from the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division. China is also reviewing the deal, Shang Ming, the head of the country’s Ministry of Commerce’s antimonopoly bureau, said last month.

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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