SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility has won approvals from U.S. and European antitrust regulators, moving Google a major step closer to completing the biggest deal in its 13-year history mean Google Inc. just needs to clear a few more regulatory hurdles before it can take control of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and expand into manufacturing phones, tablet computers and possibly other consumer devices for the first time.
Google is counting on Motorola Mobility's more than 17,000 patents – a crucial weapon in an intellectual arms race with Apple, Microsoft and other rivals to gain more control over smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
The Justice Department ended a six-month review of the deal after concluding it won't stifle competition in the mobile device market. European regulators reached the same conclusion.
In granting its approval, though, the European Union raised<