While the U.S. Justice Department cleared Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to bid for Nortel Networks' (NYSE:NT) $6,000-plus patents, last week, no one believed Google would get a shot at that wireless networking treasure trove uncontested.
The problem was, the rival bidders had yet to be revealed... until now. Google's top mobile rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), chipmaker Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and wireless power Ericsson all plan to vie for bankrupt Nortel's valuable technology, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In fact, interest was so high in the patent war chest -- Google is opening bidding at $900 million -- that Nortel said it has pushed back the auction by a full week, from June 20 to June 27.
Nortel Networks April 4 agreed to sell its remaining 6,000 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless, networking, social software and other patents to Google for $900 million in cash. However, as part of the "stalking horse" bid, the search engine is merely opening the bidding.
Google craves the patents, which Nortel said span "nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking," to stave off increasingly rampant patent litigation.