We rarely see giant tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Research in Motion, and Oracle joining forces for a common goal. But they do happen, especially when the situation calls for it. They have recently purchased mobile patents previously owned by software firm Novell and bankrupt telecommunications company Nortel Networks.
This incident has led Google to make accusations of collusion that would limit their Android mobile operating system on improving their services and enforce tax on Android smartphones. Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond stated, “Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throat, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on.”
In Microsoft’s defense, General Counsel Brad Smith tweeted this as response, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us, but they said no.” In other words, Google tried to bid and acquire the said patents without the help of anyone.
The consortium companies won the bid, which paid collectively a total of $4.5 billion. Google solitarily bid up to $3.4 billion, and then partnered with Intel Corp. to strengthen their chances. They went as high as $4 billion before losing the bid.
Android holds one-third of the mobile OS market, the most compared to any other companies out there. If the bidding had gone the other way, the picture of Google monopolizing the mobile industry would seem possible. Now that more or less two-thirds of the industry has the leverage, this would be the most beneficial scenario for the consumers.