Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that CPTN Holdings, LLC, a joint venture owned equally by Microsoft Corp., Apple, Inc. , Oracle Corp., and EMC Corp, has agreed to modify its agreement to acquire certain patents from Novell, Inc. in order to allay antitrust concerns raised by the transaction. The Department had expressed concerns that the original deal would threaten the ability of open source software to innovate and compete in critical software markets. The modifications to the deal will allow it to go forward, but the Department emphasized that it will continue to monitor distribution of the patents to ensure continued competition. The transaction also received antitrust clearance from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. The German and American authorities cooperated closely on the matter, aided by waivers from the parties that allowed information sharing between the two agencies. Regulators are increasingly attuned to the effects of intellectual property transactions on competition.
For more information on the CPTN Holdings, LLC transaction, you may find the following links useful:
Department of Justice Press Release
Law 360 article