David Gelles, reporting for The Financial Times on Eric Schmidt’s criticism of Apple, Microsoft, and RIM for (in Gelles’s words) “spending richly on patents rather than innovating”:
Google opened the bidding for the more than 6,000 Nortel patents
in April with an offer of $900m. After a bidding war ensued, the
search group was eventually outgunned by the consortium, which
together paid $4.5bn. “The price exceeded our value
threshold,” Mr Schmidt said.
Apparently Google had a different “value threshold” when they sought to buy Groupon:
Google’s much-rumored acquisition of Groupon is off, we’ve
confirmed with a source with knowledge of the deal. The news was
reported earlier by Chicago Breaking Business, and we’ve
verified that the deal is indeed off.
The two companies have been in serious negotiations for at least
the last week, with reports stating that Google was bidding as
much as $6 billion for the red-hot local deals company.
Back to Gelles’s story on Schmidt and Google:
“We chose not to bid at that level. I presume people spent
$4.5bn to do something with them,” he said of the group that
bought the bankrupt communication equipment maker’s patents.
“They didn’t just wake up and say ‘oh, we’d like to have
this patent portfolio’. I don’t know what their intent is, but
we, as a company, worry that this is an attempt to use patents
rather than to innovate.”
Translation: Google, as a company, is worried that Android violates one or more of the Nortel patents.
★ Tuesday, 19 July 2011