Mergers & Acquisitions: Microsoft and Motorola Investigations Continue, BP Divesting Oil Assets

Antitrust regulators are asking Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for more information on its proposed $12 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI). On its corporate blog, Google said the Justice Department had sent a “second request” as part of its ongoing investigation. “This is pretty routine; we’ve gotten these kind of requests before,” said Dennis Woodside, a Google senior vice president.

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An Italian software making is asking European officials to block Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) $8.5 billion purchase of Skype, the Internet phone service, unless its is removed from Microsoft’s Windows Office platform.

BP (NYSE:BP) is considering divesting some of its European and North American assets to India’s Reliance Industries (RELI) in order to deepen its partnership with India’s largest private sector company. BP chief executive Bob Dudley said the oil giant would divest $25 billion to $30 billion in assets. Earlier this year, BP acquired a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas blocks in India from Reliance, worth $7.2 billion.

Medical device company NuVasive (NASDAQ:NUVA) had agreed to buy privately held Impulse Monitoring, which providers monitoring services through surgeries, for $80 million in cash and stock.

Nationwide Insurance will buy Harleysville Group (NASDAQ:HGIC) for $40 a share, a more than 90% premium to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. The $1.6 billion deal is expected to close in early 2012. Harleysville shares are up over 85% today.

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Nelson Peltz has agreed not to attempt to buy Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) through a hostile offer, and in exchange, Family Dollar has agreed to expand its board and add a representative of Peltz’s Trian hedge fund.  Trian will cap its ownership of Family Dollar stock below 10% in a self-inflicted poison pill.

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