Google gets antitrust OK for Nortel patents, report says

The approval advances the Net giant's $900 million bid for the 6,000 patents and applications despite objections from AT&T, Verizon, HP, and Microsoft.

patent illustration

The Justice Department's antitrust authorities have approved Google's $900 million bid for 6,000 Nortel patents and patent applications , the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The conclusion, attributed to unnamed sources, means that the purchase of the intellectual property from the bankrupt telecommunications company wouldn't be anticompetitive, and it significantly advances Google's bid.

Microsoft, a top Google competitor, has raised concerns about Google's bid for the Nortel patents about the purchase. AT&T, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, and Verizon also have filed objections, the Journal said.

Patents are a hot commodity these days with an explosion of lawsuits among tech giants. Some of those cases involve Google--directly as in the case of Oracle's suit about Java or indirectly through partners using Google's Android operating system. And many of those suits revolve around mobile technology, where Nortel can be expected to have holdings.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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