Google is a licensee of the H.264 pool at least (#384 on the list at <http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensees.aspx>). That means they and their affiliates have to offer a reciprocal license to all other licensees.
This is one of the major controversies of the Motorola v. Microsoft case: since Motorola was acquired after Google agreed to the license and not included in the explicit list of "affiliates" Google provided, and since the lawsuit began before Google acquired them, Motorola claims the reciprocal license does not apply. Microsoft claims it does.
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