A consortium including Apple Inc, Microsoft, EMC Corp, Sony, Ericsson, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion bought bankrupt telecommunications gear maker Nortel Networks Corp’s remaining portfolio of 6000 patents for $4.5 billion, in an auction that began early this week.

RIM reportedly paid $770 million, Ericsson paid $340 million.  It wasn’t immediately clear how much Apple paid.

Google had originally opened bidding with a $900 million bid.  The consortium of strange bedfellows will split up the portfolio based on the split of the purchase price.

The sale is subject to Canadian and U.S. court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11.  Full press release follows:

 

June 30, 2011, 11:51 p.m. EDT
Nortel Announces the Winning Bidder of Its Patent Portfolio for a Purchase Price of US$4.5 Billion
– Working Toward a Q3 2011 Closing

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jun 30, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Nortel(1) Networks Corporation /quotes/zigman/442381 NRTLQ +19.05% announced today that it, its subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited (NNL), and certain of its other subsidiaries, including Nortel Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks UK Limited (in administration), have concluded a successful auction of all of Nortel’s remaining patents and patent applications. After a multi-day auction, a consortium emerged as the winning bidder with a cash purchase price of US$4.5 billion. The consortium consists of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony.

The sale includes more than 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

“Following a very robust auction, we are pleased at the outcome of the auction of this extensive patent portfolio”, said George Riedel, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Business Units, Nortel. “The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world.”

The sale is subject to applicable Canadian and U.S. Court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11, 2011. Nortel will work diligently with the consortium to close the sale in the third quarter of 2011.

As previously announced, Nortel does not expect that the Company’s common shareholders or the NNL preferred shareholders will receive any value from Nortel’s creditor protection proceedings and expects that the proceedings will result in the cancellation of these equity interests.

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