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Rockstar Bidco LP, a group which includes Apple, has been granted the right by United States and Canadian judges to pay $4.5 billion to bankrupt Nortel Networks for a portfolio of wireless patents. Rockstar won the auction for the patents a little over a week ago, after a very spirited and aggressive bidding war went down between heavyweight tech companies.
Although Apple and Google were originally seen as the two major players in the auction, bids escalated so steeply that sometime-adversaries became strange bedfellows: winner Rockstar was comprised of Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC Corp, Ericsson, and Sony. Apple bid on its own for the first five rounds, then joined forces with Rockstar for an auction that started at $900 million and lasted 19 rounds.
The portfolio comprised over 6,000 patents covering various emerging wireless technologies -- the biggest gem being several patents that relate to 4G standards. Asides from using and licensing the technology, analysts believe that the portfolio will be used immediately by the winning group to litigate against the loser, and it appears Google and its Android OS are immediately being targeted.
Now that court approval is out of the way, the sale is expected to be finalized in about a month, with the money being distributed to creditors of Nortel.