According to Bloomberg, Apple and Google are teaming up on a $500 million bid to acquire Kodak’s patent portfolio.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) have joined forces to offer more than $500 million to buy Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ)’s patents out of bankruptcy, said two people with knowledge of the situation. The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate consortia this summer to buy Kodak’s 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.
Prior to this new bid, several reports had claimed that Apple and Google were leading separate groups of several companies that wanted to acquire Kodak’s patents. Kodak’s patents have become available for acquisition following the company’s move into bankruptcy earlier this year.
Bloomberg‘s report also notes that Apple’s previous consortium of potential bidders, prior to this new bid with Google, included Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management. Google’s competing group of bidders included RPX (one of Google’s Asia-based Android device manufactures).
Notably, Kodak was reportedly interested in selling 10% of its patent portfolio in the summer of 2011 (prior to declaring bankruptcy). These were photo-viewing patents covered in Kodak’s 2010 patent lawsuit against Apple. Interestingly, earlier this year, Apple prepared to countersue Kodak over patents.