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Monday, April 19, 2021

Alphabet, Apple, Set to Settle Merger Lawsuit

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As part of the merger agreement, Alphabet and its associated businesses would acquire Apple’s patent portfolio, which includes 33,000 patents for mobile devices and more than 10,000 patents for other technologies including cloud computing, customer relationship management and data analytics.

An application for trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the term “AmaB”, the name Google uses to refer to its logo, indicates that Apple has licensed Google’s copyrighted marks to produce additional merchandise related to the two companies.

Some analysts have suggested that the ultimate outcome of the case will shed light on how technology industry mergers will now be monitored.

Google will publish an algorithm next year which will guide search-engine submissions, Google said in the filing on the deal with the Federal Trade Commission. Google will now be forced to prove to the commission that it used that process to screen its recent acquisitions. In the settlement, the commission said Google’s “been extremely responsive” to its requests.

The Trump administration is seeking to expand antitrust enforcement at the Justice Department and FTC. The White House has said that it will consider companies’ stances on community outreach when deciding whether to block mergers. The Trump administration went after Intel, one of its business partners, for allegedly trying to limit competition by poaching its employees. That kind of conduct is illegal.

The companies have agreed to file jointly to the commission with more information about how they intend to manage their shared portfolios. The companies are expected to submit a joint proposal to the commission on Oct. 31. The commission can cancel any merger deal that comes before it that is delayed or insufficiently explained.

Google announced the Apple-licensing deal in June. Under the deal, Alphabet agreed to pay Apple $550 million on July 13, for intellectual property related to Google Android devices.

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