Tech giants consider InterDigital bid

18 August 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Market speculation surrounding InterDigital, the US-based wireless telecoms company, suggests that there are up to four bidders interested in acquiring the company.

Reuter’s newswire reports today that Apple, Nokia, Qualcomm and Google are all considering bids to acquire the company, which is scheduled to be auctioned by the end of the month. Market watchers had predicted the auction would be postponed after the company’s share price dropped significantly, by 23%, on Monday, following Google’s announcement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

First round bids for InterDigital have however been postponed because of an issue with the company’s patents. Much of the interest in the company from the major technology giants stems from a long-running strategy from companies like Google and Apple to establish patent portfolios - one of the reasons cited behind the Google Motorola deal on Monday. InterDigital has high quality patent portfolios, and it presently holds 50% of licences in the 3G market – with Samsung, Apple and RIM among its partners.

There are widespread suggestions by economists that Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility could mean InterDigital’s final price will be considerably lower than what was first projected if Google decides against a bid. InterDigital holds 8,800 patents in the 3G and 4G/LTE market and could significantly aid smartphone software and capability.