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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    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!
  • Reply 2 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    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."
  • Reply 3 of 32
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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
  • Reply 4 of 32
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 32
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    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
  • Reply 6 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,185member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    ksecksec Posts: 1,531member
    I just hope the deal go through and we could start suing Andriod for patents infringement.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    radjinradjin Posts: 165member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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



  • Reply 11 of 32
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
    "
  • Reply 12 of 32
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    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?!
  • Reply 16 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,697member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 32
    ksecksec Posts: 1,531member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    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 maker?s patents. ?They didn?t just wake up and say ?oh, we?d like to have this patent portfolio?. I don?t know what their intent is, but we, as a company, worry that this is an attempt to use patents rather than to innovate.?
  • Reply 19 of 32
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    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)
  • Reply 20 of 32
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
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