Apple, Intel could raise ante in Google's play for Nortel Patents

With Apple, Intel, and others now in the auction for Nortel's portfolio of wireless patents, it seems almost certain Google will have to raise its $900 million "stalking-horse bid" to prevail.

Earlier this week Nortel postponed the bankruptcy auction for its collection of 6,000-plus wireless patents by seven days, citing a "significant level of interest" in them. Now the source of that interest has been identified: Intel, Ericsson AB, and patent risk solutions provider RPX, who've all been accepted as qualified bidders in the June 27 auction.

Also qualified as a bidder: Apple, which, as AllThingsD reported back in December, has been sniffing around Nortel's IP for months now.

With these four participating in the auction for Nortel's portfolio, it seems almost certain Google will have to raise its $900 million "stalking-horse bid" if it hopes to prevail. Already some private equity investors are saying the final price on the patents may reach $1.5 billion if a real bidding war erupts over them.

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