European Commission approves Motorola-Symbol deal

The European Commission Monday approved mobile phone maker Motorola http://www.motorola.com/ proposed acquisition of Symbol Technologies, a US company specialising in building super-strong portable devices including computers.

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The European Commission Monday approved mobile phone maker Motorola proposed acquisition of Symbol Technologies, a US company specialising in building super-strong portable devices including computers.

Motorola said last September that it would pay $3.9 billion (£2bn) for Symbol, a leader in portable barcode scanners and customised handheld computers.

The deal expands Motorola’s stake in the market for business-oriented mobile devices and if successful would be the phone maker's largest acquisition since it bought cable TV-box maker General Instrument in 2000.

The horizontal overlaps between the activities of Motorola and Symbol are limited, the Commission said in a statement. “For all product categories concerned, the new firm would continue to face several strong, effective competitors,” it said.

The Commission also analysed the effects of the proposed transaction arising from Symbol’s position on the market for data capture and scanning devices, which are incorporated in ‘ruggedised’ mobile computers.

The regulator concluded that alternative and competing sources of supply would continue to exist and that there would be no particular risks of these markets being closed off.

More information on the case is available at the Commission Web site.

Motorola CEO Ed Zander also announced the company’s plan to hook the developing world on mobile phones, in his keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

The idea is to sell cheap handsets and solve their power problems with a recharger they can use while riding a bike to the market, or work.

“There are 500 million cyclists in China,” he said, pointing out one of the company’s target markets.

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