A consortium of companies lead by Apple that includes Microsoft and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has agreed to pay $4.5 billion for patents belonging to Nortel, the Canadian telecommunications equipment maker that went bust in 2009.
The $4.5 billion bid trumped an earlier $900 million offer from web giant Google. "This outcome is disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition,” Google told the Bloomberg news agency.
The 6,000 patents relate to technologies including smartphones, the web and microprocessors. “The portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking," said Nortel in a statement.
Meanwhile, Canada’s other troubled telecommunications company Research in Motion has responded to a supposed ‘open letter’ to senior management, purportedly written by a "high level employee".
The letter, published by mobile blog Boy Genius Report, offered RIM executives guidance on how to turn the business around. These include focusing on the end user experience and recruiting senior software ‘leaders’.
A statement from RIM acknowledged that the company faces challenges, most notably competition from the iPhone and Android based smartphones, but insisted that it was well placed to tackle them.
"Regardless of whether the letter is real, fake, exaggerated or written with ulterior motivations, it is fair to say that the senior management team at RIM is nonetheless fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities."