Microsoft is officially teaming up with a number of other major technology companies, including some that it considers bitter rivals, to jointly acquire a number of patents from photography company Eastman Kodak. A judge approved the sale late last week, but for far less money than what Kodak originally wanted.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the final price for the patents ended up being $527 million. In July 2012, when Kodak first put its patents on the auction block, it was hoping to get over $2 billion from the sale.
Other tech companies that are joining Microsoft in this fire sale of Kodak's patents include Apple, Google, Research in Motion, Adobe, Samsung, HTC, Facebook and others. The deal is not yet official; a number of international approvals must be met but it is expected to close sometime in late February.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 and since then it has been trying to sell off parts of its business while shutting down others, including closing its printer business and licensing the Kodak name to another company, JK Imaging, so it can use it for its cameras.
Kodak ended up selling over 1,100 patents to the consortium. One group of patents centers on digital capture software and technology while the other group has all of Kodak's image storage patents.
Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Kodak