Google announced its plans to acquire Motorola Mobility back in August of last year. Since then, both the US and Europe have approved the deal, but China is still investigating the merger. Google expects the deal to be completed in the first half of this year, regardless of the setback.
The real problem that Google will face hasn't even happened yet. Should the deal go through, Google will acquire not only Motorola's 17,500 phone patents, but also its factories and employees. It would position the search giant to be the leading Android manufacturer, but that's probably not what it wants.
Consider that almost every major smartphone manufacturer is heavily invested in Android, the operating system that Google freely distributes in return for the ability to install its services on the phones that run it. By making its own hardware, Google would be pushing a hard bargain for other manufacturers to keep supporting Android. If that happened, Android would lose enough device sales around the world for the ecosystem to eventually collapse.
It seems that Google will keep the patents so that the "Patent Wars" can die down and competition can continue in a reasonable fashion, but it's also looking like the company will sell Motorola's hardware division. To which company it does sell the division remains to be seen, but a potential (and very interested) company is Huawei. If Huawei did purchase Motorola's hardware assets, it would be very easy for the company to then create a large presence in the US.
I assume we'll know what happens when the deal is finally completed this year.[WSJ via InformationWeek]