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Canada, US approve Apple-led consortium's $4.5B purchase of Nortel patents

post #1 of 33
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Courts in both Canada and the U.S. have approved the proposed $4.5 billion purchase of more than 6,000 wireless patents from bankrupt Canadian telecommunications equipment maker Nortel by Apple and five other companies.

Reuters reports that judges for bankruptcy courts in both countries granted approval for the sale on Monday. Nortel filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and has steadily been selling off assets, with the recent patent auction raising more money than all other asset sales combined.

The run-up to the auction generated a high level of interest, with major technology corporations viewing the trove as crucial to the transition to next-generation of wireless technology. Four days of intense bidding resulted in a bidding war between Apple and Google that drove the price up more than three times what was expected by analysts.

During the auction, Apple teamed up with a consortium consisting of Microsoft, Research in Motion, EMC, Ericsson and Sony, while Google partnered with Intel in bidding for the patents. Given that most of the members of Apple's "Rockstar" group are competitors, analysts have seen the unlikely alliance as an aggressive move against Google's Android mobile operating system.

Google's failure to win the auction surprised many, as the search giant had placed the starting bid of $900 million and announced strong intentions to bid for the patents. The company holds a smaller portfolio than some of its older rivals and has been hobbled in its efforts to defend Android vendors from infringement claims from competitors, including Microsoft and Apple.

Though Nortel's patents span a range of technologies, the collection's most desirable intellectual property pertains to 4G Long-Term Evolution. Apple reportedly paid $2 billion for "outright ownership" of the set of LTE patents, while other members each paid around $500 million for licenses to the cache. Storage maker EMC is said to have negotiated a side deal for exclusive ownership of a small set of patents.

Legal experts have noted that Apple, with close to $70 billion in cash reserves, could have purchased the patents on its own and may have chosen to partner with others in order to diminish the chances of the deal being blocked over anti-trust concerns.

Apple and other interested bidders were scrutinized by federal regulators ahead of receiving approval to bid, though the Cupertino, Calif., company received extra attention over concerns that it would wield any patents it received against competitors. Ultimately, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice elected to allow Apple, Google and others to participate in the auction.

Lisa Schweitzer of the law firm Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton, which represents Nortel, expects the transaction to close in about a month, adding that ""there's no antitrust risk to the deal." According to her, the auction was "record breaking in terms of this case and in the patent industry generally."
post #2 of 33
The courts may have approved the deal but now the governments of both countries are looking into the deal; one, Canada, because they want to see if the deal was in Canada's best interest; and two, the US, because of antitrust concerns.

Here we go... have at 'er!
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post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

The courts may have approved the deal but now the governments of both countries are looking into the deal; one, Canada, because they want to see if the deal was in Canada's best interest; and two, the US, because of antitrust concerns.

Here we go... have at 'er!

Classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. As old Ronnie Reagan once said, "Government isn't the solution to our problems, government IS the problem."
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. As old Ronnie Reagan once said, "Government isn't the solution to our problems, government IS the problem."

The left hand knows what the right hand is doing, it's just not any of its business until after the right hand is finished
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

The left hand knows what the right hand is doing, it's just not any of its business until after the right hand is finished

Now, which one is right? Which one is left? Which one is rightly left and which one is leftty right? Which one is correct and which one is wrong?

Government agencies behaving like that is because the head is not functioning (irregardless who the head might be).

In other news Apple does not need to go alone even with all the money and the perceived thought of avoiding anti-trust scrutiny when the real benefit going as a consortium is to limit burden. When there are people willing to give you hand, why refuse?
post #6 of 33
The creditors want the 4.5B
Who else is going to come up with that
So a govt agency is going to block this
The dingdong that does should have his/her
Face plastered in the failblog
Govt fail
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. As old Ronnie Reagan once said, "Government isn't the solution to our problems, government IS the problem."

Please. Spare us all the embarrassment of quoting Ronald ``I can't recall'' Reagan. The man was a moron who tripled the national debt in 4 years. The man should go down as one of the most embarrassing Presidents in US History. Of course, George 2.0 makes him look like a genius.

The last time a Republican balanced the budget was Eisenhower. Before that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Keep talking about the GOP. Soon it will become a fringe only party with their ``Gods Only Party'' motto.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Government agencies behaving like that is because the head is not functioning (irregardless who the head might be).

The judiciary is not a government agency, it is a branch. The judicial branch isn't supposed to 'work with' the executive or the legislative, in fact sometimes quite the opposite.
post #9 of 33
I just hope the deal go through and we could start suing Andriod for patents infringement.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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post #10 of 33
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Please. Spare us all the embarrassment of quoting Ronald ``I can't recall'' Reagan. The man was a moron who tripled the national debt in 4 years. The man should go down as one of the most embarrassing Presidents in US History. Of course, George 2.0 makes him look like a genius.

The last time a Republican balanced the budget was Eisenhower. Before that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Keep talking about the GOP. Soon it will become a fringe only party with their ``Gods Only Party'' motto.

You forgot to mention he ended the cold war and helped to develop over 10,000 new technologies. Have you looked at our debt today. The current president is by far beating anything anyone else has ever done when it comes to increasing our debt.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Now, which one is right? Which one is left? Which one is rightly left and which one is leftty right? Which one is correct and which one is wrong?

Government agencies behaving like that is because the head is not functioning (irregardless who the head might be).

In other news Apple does not need to go alone even with all the money and the perceived thought of avoiding anti-trust scrutiny when the real benefit going as a consortium is to limit burden. When there are people willing to give you hand, why refuse?

I think cloudgazer's humour below has been lost on you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

The left hand knows what the right hand is doing, it's just not any of its business until after the right hand is finished
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

The creditors want the 4.5B
Who else is going to come up with that
So a govt agency is going to block this
The dingdong that does should have his/her
Face plastered in the failblog
Govt fail

It seems a big chunk of the creditors are Europeans, not sure if that matters:
http://wraltechwire.com/business/tec...gpost/9581795/

"Nortel Networks Corp. and its bankrupt units in Canada and the U.S. are preparing to fight their European affiliates over billions of dollars the company collected while liquidating.

A group of European units in bankruptcy in the U.K. claimed Nortel owes them C$9.8 billion ($10.2 billion), according to court papers filed in Toronto, where the parent is in bankruptcy.

.....

Creditors of the company’s main U.S. unit, Nortel Networks, claimed they were owed $16.3 billion, according to court documents.
"
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I just hope the deal go through and we could start suing Andriod for patents infringement.

If you want the deal to go through solely pushing that reason..expect government re-examination and probably blocks.

If it is found(which is highly unlikely IMO) that the consortium bought these patents SOLELY to kill or harrass Android, this will be struck down in a heartbeat.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. As old Ronnie Reagan once said, "Government isn't the solution to our problems, government IS the problem."

Ronald Reagan was an idiot, and his policies and politics have led us to the economic mess this country is in today. The lesson ought to be, "Don't vote for anyone who thinks government is the problem because they'll be the problem."

But, this case is actually a case of government working as designed, since the courts and executive branches are intended to be independent. When they actually start coordinating their actions, that's when we have a problem.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radjin View Post

You forgot to mention he ended the cold war and helped to develop over 10,000 new technologies. Have you looked at our debt today. The current president is by far beating anything anyone else has ever done when it comes to increasing our debt.

The cold war ended because the USSR bankrupted itself. Reagonomics is bankrupting this country. Hardly something to brag about.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

If you want the deal to go through solely pushing that reason..expect government re-examination and probably blocks.

If it is found(which is highly unlikely IMO) that the consortium bought these patents SOLELY to kill or harrass Android, this will be struck down in a heartbeat.

Google is bitching that the other kids in the playground are bullying Google. I have to ask... if Google had won... then what?!
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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Google is bitching that the other kids in the playground are bullying Google. I have to ask... if Google had won... then what?!

I haven't seen Google mention being picked on or singled out. I saw they were disappointed in the results. Perhaps there's news I missed.

The entity making waves with their concerns isn't Google, but instead the American Antitrust Institute who has no connection at all to Google.

http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/co...-consortiums-4
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post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

If you want the deal to go through solely pushing that reason..expect government re-examination and probably blocks.

If it is found(which is highly unlikely IMO) that the consortium bought these patents SOLELY to kill or harrass Android, this will be struck down in a heartbeat.

Well of coz they have no intention to do so until they actually won the case and patents

And since HTC are already paying M$ $20 per devices, lets just hope Samsung and other Android will cough up.

I dont know why i hate Android so much, may be because even M$ is evil, but they at least admit they are evil.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I haven't seen Google mention being picked on or singled out. I saw they were disappointed in the results. Perhaps there's news I missed.

The entity making waves with their concerns isn't Google, but instead the American Antitrust Institute who has no connection at all to Google.

http://www.antitrustinstitute.org/co...-consortiums-4

... and yet the tone of a few articles suggests that Google is behind the anti-trust investigation.

The only thing I can find is a comment from Schmidt but he says nothing about the anti-trust investigation:

We chose not to bid at that level. I presume people spent $4.5bn to do something with them, he said of the group that bought the bankrupt communication equipment makers patents. They didnt just wake up and say oh, wed like to have this patent portfolio. I dont know what their intent is, but we, as a company, worry that this is an attempt to use patents rather than to innovate.
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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Google is bitching that the other kids in the playground are bullying Google. I have to ask... if Google had won... then what?!

Nothing...Google would not lift a finger, because the DOJ would be on their case faster than sweethooths on candy. Or have you forgotten that big G is still being looked upon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Well of coz they have no intention to do so until they actually won the case and patents

And since HTC are already paying M$ $20 per devices, lets just hope Samsung and other Android will cough up.

I dont know why i hate Android so much, may be because even M$ is evil, but they at least admit they are evil.

HTC pays MS $5 if your going to spout out lies at least try. Secondly, an approval does not mean that they won't re-examine afterwards, if the anti-trust committee get's whiff of any attempt to eliminate competition through litigation, they will come back. (See: Novell Purchase)
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

if the anti-trust committee get's whiff of any attempt to eliminate competition through litigation, they will come back. (See: Novell Purchase)

That's not an exact precedent by any stretch because MS was a monopoly player and Apple isn't. Many things are not acceptable for monopolies that are for normal market participants. For example if Apple was to integrate Safari more deeply into OS-X it wouldn't introduce the same issues as the IE-integration into windows did.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's not an exact precedent by any stretch because MS was a monopoly player and Apple isn't. Many things are not acceptable for monopolies that are for normal market participants. For example if Apple was to integrate Safari more deeply into OS-X it wouldn't introduce the same issues as the IE-integration into windows did.

But it's not necessary for there to be a monopoly position to still be in violation of US antitrust laws.

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/04/ftcdojguidelines.pdf
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's not an exact precedent by any stretch because MS was a monopoly player and Apple isn't. Many things are not acceptable for monopolies that are for normal market participants. For example if Apple was to integrate Safari more deeply into OS-X it wouldn't introduce the same issues as the IE-integration into windows did.

Novell was a joint purchase between MS, EMC, Oracle, and Apple. The concern was that MS and Apple, would lock up the open source patents purchased, rather than free them up and or license them.

After it was brought forth to the courts the parties agreed to allow the patents to stand as before with the same agreements.
post #24 of 33
\ I think I see more spam here than any other site I frequent. It also hangs around longer.
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post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's not an exact precedent by any stretch because MS was a monopoly player and Apple isn't. Many things are not acceptable for monopolies that are for normal market participants. For example if Apple was to integrate Safari more deeply into OS-X it wouldn't introduce the same issues as the IE-integration into windows did.

This is the actual final settlement with the DoJ. If there's a hint of anticompetitive behavior on the part of Rockstar Bidco, I personally don't see how the DoJ would not come to a similar conclusion considering the similar circumstances, at least in the way I've read it.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/pr...011/270086.htm
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post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

\ I think I see more spam here than any other site I frequent. It also hangs around longer.

Now he's engaging in self-referential posts?
post #27 of 33
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Now he's engaging in self-referential posts?

Yes, I believe he has about 10 duplicate posts so far, all referring to his great bid buys.
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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

This is the actual final settlement with the DoJ. If there's a hint of anticompetitive behavior on the part of Rockstar Bidco, I personally don't see how the DoJ would not come to a similar conclusion considering the similar circumstances, at least in the way I've read it.

http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/pr...011/270086.htm

I think you're missing the key point - this ruling is defending Linux against primarily MS - which holds a virtual monopoly in the desktop space, especially when combined with Apple. Android is the dominant platform in Mobile, there are no equivalent anti-trust considerations.
post #29 of 33
In the prior link, repeated here, there's no mention of a monopoly position being a key factor in the determination whether anti-competitive behavior violates anti-trust laws:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/04/ftcdojguidelines.pdf
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In the prior link, repeated here, there's no mention of a monopoly position being a key factor in the determination whether anti-competitive behavior violates anti-trust laws:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/04/ftcdojguidelines.pdf

Look at the basis of US anti-trust law

"Section 1. Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine....
Section 2. Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine...."


The former essentially covers cartels, and price fixing. The latter covers monopolistic behaviour. These two things are what the law means by anti-competitive behaviour, Put very crudely, beating up your competitors in other circumstances is legal, as is screwing your consumers on price.

Now consider what the remedy was in the Novell case. MS was not permitted to acquire the patents and all the patents had to be supplied under GPL and OIN - ie. they had to be supplied in a fashion that could be used by Linux distos. If the concern was price-fixing then the DOJ would have simply enforced a particular licensing fee for the patents, the only reason to require GPL licensing was because the concern was a monopolistic attempt to squash Linux.

or consider this http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/gu...s/0558.htm#t21, section 2.2 includes the following.

'As in other antitrust contexts, however, market power could be illegally acquired or maintained, or, even if lawfully acquired and maintained, would be relevant to the ability of an intellectual property owner to harm competition through unreasonable conduct in connection with such property.'

Essentially, if you have market power (ie. an effective monopoly) you are more constrained in your right to use IP to harm competitors than if you do not.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

The judiciary is not a government agency, it is a branch. The judicial branch isn't supposed to 'work with' the executive or the legislative, in fact sometimes quite the opposite.

Yes, but I believe the court in question here is the bankruptcy court responsible for settling Nortel's debts. They certainly don't administer antitrust laws. BTW, it's one word: antitrust. No hyphen required.
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post #32 of 33
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Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Yes, but I believe the court in question here is the bankruptcy court responsible for settling Nortel's debts. They certainly don't administer antitrust laws.

Indeed.

Quote:
BTW, it's one word: antitrust. No hyphen required.

In the US it is, but my copy of the OED has a hyphen.
post #33 of 33
You have right
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