It adds another big name and another direction of interest to the auction, which apparently drew so many buyers that Nortel put it off for a week.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), which also got FTC approval Friday, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have been the two most closely watched. Google wants the patents mostly for defensive purposes -- to avoid being sued -- but it seems obvious that either company's mobile platform would benefit from the patent stash.
Intel would be an interesting alternative, considering it offers chips to pretty much everyone in the mobile industry.
Other notable names known to be interested include Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), BlackBerry and patent-holding company RPX Corp.
The patent auction is likely to be the last big move from Nortel, so maybe it's fitting that this might be the most dramatic of its selloffs. To help build the drama, here's a reverse-chronological recap of what's been going on:
- Nortel Delays Patent Auction
- Ericsson CEO: More Major M&A Possible
- Upsetting Apple's IPR Cart
- Euronews: Ericsson Eyes Nortel Patents
- Patent Firm Wants In on Nortel Auction
- Nortel Patent Auction Approved
- RIM May Also Bid for Nortel Patents
- Google Bids $900M for Nortel's Patents
- Nortel Patents Sale's Pending
- Fighting Over Nortel's Patents
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading