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German investigation of Novell patent sale halted

A German antitrust investigation into the purchase of Novell patents ends, after the buyers withdraw their application.

The German antitrust authority said today that it is unable to investigate the establishment of a consortium set up to buy hundreds of open-source patents from Novell due to the consortium members withdrawing their application in that country.

Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and EMC filed a notification with the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) on December 6, telling the competition authority that they intended to unify under the name of CPTN Holdings to buy 882 patents from Novell (not including the company's Unix copyrights). The filing was the first public identification of Microsoft's partners in the venture, which was announced in late November along with the $2.2 billion sale of Novell to Attachmate.

On December 30, CPTN Holdings withdrew its filing. Microsoft told ZDNet UK today that this is "a purely procedural step necessary to provide time to allow for review of the proposed transaction."

Read more of "German investigation of Novell patent sale halted" at ZDNet UK.