MOFCOM’s prophylactic approach toward Google‘s control of Motorola Mobility‘s patent portfolio is reminiscent of its approach in InBev/Anheuser-Busch, and may again also reflect the fact that MOFCOM would have no jurisdiction if there is post-acquisition anti-competitive conduct. It may also reflect skepticism toward analyses of probable motivation to act anticompetitively, whereas the European Commission relied on information from market participants that would indicate a lack of incentive for Google to act in a discriminatory manner towards handset makers. The decision is also significant in applying only competition analysis to an entity, Google, that is at odds with the government on censorship. It is an indication that MOFCOM will segregate non-economic factors from its merger control enforcement.
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