Apple Inc. (AAPL) joined with rivals Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) to outbid Google Inc. (GOOG) for a patent portfolio from Nortel Networks Corp. and gain rights to technologies for mobile phones and tablet computers.
The group, which also includes Sony Corp. (6758), Ericsson AB and EMC Corp., agreed to pay $4.5 billion in cash for the assets, Ontario-based Nortel said in a statement. The companies aim to complete the sale this quarter pending approval from U.S. and Canadian courts, it said.
So who is the loser in this War?
The winning offer came after several rounds of bidding and was five times the $900 million Google had offered before the auction for Nortel’s remaining intellectual property.
What was Google’s response?
“This outcome is disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mail. “We will keep working to reduce the current flood of patent litigation that hurts both innovators and consumers.”
Although I am very sympathetic to this view, I see double standards here from Google. Are they really open about innovation in areas that really matters to them as a company? Will they open source their search algorithm?