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Apple the big winner in consortium’s acquisition of Nortel

Nortel headquarters Ottowa

The acquisition of Nortel went through last week, with a group of companies that includes Apple, RIM, Microsoft and others paying a total of $4.5 billion for more than 6,000 patents and patent applications covering wireless, 4G, data networking, Internet, voice, optical and semiconductor technologies. Some additional details have emerged from I, Cringely which, if accurate (no source is credited), breaks down exactly who gets what in the patent feeding frenzy.

RIM and Ericsson together put up $1.1 billion, which gets them both “paid up” licenses to the patent portfolio. Microsoft and Sony pitched in another $1 billion, though Cringely makes no mention of what that money paid for specifically. $400 million more came from information storage company EMC, which gets “an unspecificied subset of the Nortel patents.”

The biggest contributor is Apple, which put up the remaining $2 billion in exchange for “outright ownership” of Nortel’s 4G LTE patents along with a number of other patents that are meant to “hobble” Android. Cringely takes care to note that this acquisition will likely held up in the courts, as Google will almost certainly be filing an anti-trust suit.

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