It was all of 10 months ago that Google stunned the mobile tech world by announcing it had agreed in principle a $12.5bn deal to acquire Motorola.
Well incredibly, the deal still isn't wrapped up, but finally the finish line is in sight after China gave the takeover its stamp of approval – the final country to do so in a worldwide review process.
We first reported on the principle deal in early August last year, but the size and global nature of the takeover meant it first had to go through a country-by-country review process to make sure it didn't fall foul of any individual market's antitrust regulations.
Europe and the US gave the move the green light back in February, but China has taken a little longer to fall into line – hardly surprising given its rocky relationship with Google over the past few years. Ironically, it's believed Google had to promise to keep Android free and open for the next five years for China to give its approval.
The buyout should now be wrapped up sometime next week, giving Google – albeit indirectly – the presence in the mobile hardware market it seems to have been craving off and on for years now.
Motorola will continue to exist as a brand, and will operate as a separate entity as for as Android is concerned, with Google clearly aware it has far more to lose in favouring Motorola in any visible way than it could ever hope to gain.
That said, it's hard to imagine Google was expecting the level of discontent the takeover stirred among rival Android OEMs. In fact, the whole thing has actually harmed rather than helped Motorola's prospects to a large degree, since any upturn in its fortunes or potential sign of favouritism from Google (such as choosing Moto to build future Nexus devices) will immediately be treated with suspicion.