Fallen telecom giant Nortel on Monday said that Google is bidding $900 million to buy its patent portfolio.
Toronto-based Nortel, which has been in business since 1882, filed for bankruptcy last year after suffering losses to the tune of $5 billion in 2009 during a troubled decade.
The 129-year-old telecom giant's accumulated problems —from the bubble burst to internal accounting scandal to the current meltdown —forced it to seek bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada January 2010.
After this, it started selling off its various divisions to pay its debtors.
It is now selling its last remaining asset — a huge inventory of about 6,000 patents related to cutting-edge, next-generation wire technology.
The patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking, according Nortel.
In a statement, Nortel said that “its principal operating subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited (NNL) and certain of its other subsidiaries, including Nortel Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks UK Limited (in administration), have entered into a stalking horse asset sale agreement with Google Inc. for the sale of all of Nortel's remaining patents and patent applications for a cash purchase price of $900 million.”
Google’s ‘stalking-horse’ offer will be the opening bid of what Nortel called ‘a robust auction’ likely to fetch it a higher price.
The ‘stalking-horse’ agreement with Google includes sale of approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patent portfolios.