In recent days, the rival technology giants and patent-hoarding firms that had mounted competing bids for the portfolio have joined forces, people with knowledge of the negotiations said -- a move that could take the patents off the market at a price below what Eastman Kodak Co. had hoped to raise in a competitive auction.
The bidding group brings together a raft of strange bedfellows. It includes Apple Inc. and Google Inc., fierce competitors in the global smartphone market. It also includes Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, which buys up patents to seek licensing revenue and increasingly sue other companies for infringement, and RPX Corp., which buys patents to keep them from being used against its members in suits.
Kodak was hoping to get $2.2 to $2.6 billion for its patents; however, the sale isn't going as well as expected. Recent negotiations are around $500 million.
Yesterday, Kodak said it is actively discussion the sale with buyers and is not ready to announce a result. It also said it might decline to sell some or all of its patents, depending on how the auction progressed.