Bitter rivals Apple and Google have teamed up in a bid to buy patents that bankrupt Kodak has put up for auction, Bloomberg reports.
The two companies, competing for dominance of the smartphone market, have partnered after leading two separate groups this summer to buy some of Kodak's 1,100 imaging patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.Apple and Google were on the opposite sides of an auction for Nortel's patents last year. The patents and patent applications, which were expected to fetch up to $1.5 billion, finally went for $4.5 billion after a fierce bidding war won by a consortium of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM), Ericsson, Sony and EMC.
The Apple-led group pursuing Kodak's patents included Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC as of July, the people said, while Google's partners included patent- aggregation company RPX Corp. and Asian makers of Google's Android phones. The two groups had separately offered less than $500 million for Kodak's portfolio. They now teamed up to offer more together, said two of the people.