Justice Department Investigates Apple’s Nortel Patent Acquisition

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The Justice Department is intensifying an investigation into the $4.5 billion patents sale to telecom manufacturers out of concerns they could cripple companies that use Google Android OS.

After Nortel Networks went bust last month, traditional rivals Apple and Microsoft joined forces, along with Sony, Ericsson, Nokia and RIM, to prevent Google from acquiring 6,000 patents that cover a vast area of telecommunications research.

Since the hit to Google, the Wall Street Journal reports the Justice Department is intensifying its investigation, in a bid to determine if the acquired patents will unfairly disadvantage manufacturers who use Google’s smartphone operating system, Android.

Android sales have been thriving, proving a worthy adversary to Apple’s dominating iPhone. With a yet to be announced iPhone in limbo, Apple have been responding through a series of patent driven lawsuits, attacking Samsung, HTC, Motorola, who all advocate Google’s Android OS.

Read: Android Shipments Grow 379%

Worse yet, there are fears that an Apple victory against HTC could set precedents against the slew of Android ambassadors. If that is the case, they could be ordered to make royalty payments that go into the pockets of their rival.

Google did place a bid for the patents, but with the consortium placing a winning bid of $4.5 billion, they were outbid five times over.

In a recent attempt to better position itself, Google did purchase over a thousand patents from IBM.
 
Read: Google Buys 1,000+ Patents, Bracing Itself Against Apple

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