Although we've been talking about Google's acquisition of Motorola as if it were already happening, the deal still has a lot of paperwork and red tape to get through before it is really final. Getting Department of Justice approval in the US and European Commission approval in Europe are a big part of that red tape, but as of today Google has both those things, meaning that the deal is now on the fast track to completion.
While they have gotten the deal approved, Google will still have to be careful what they do with the various patents and assets they will get when they acquire Motorola. According to the European Commission's competition commissioner Joaqin Almunia,
"Upon careful examination, this transaction does not itself raise competition issues…Of course, the Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the behavior of all market players in the sector, particularly the increasingly strategic use of patents."
This really shouldn't come as much of a surprise, especially in light of the various battles between Apple and Samsung over some fairly trivial patents. However, it is still worth nothing that Google may not be able to use its newly acquired patents to defend Android quite as much as it would have liked.
I am still very interested to see what Google will do with Motorola once the purchase is complete. Will they simply force Motorola to use stock Android, use the company to produce reference hardware, or simply leave things how they have been? Ultimately, we will just have to wait and see.