Apple has received the green light from US anti-trust officials to join the bidding war for Nortel’s prized patent portfolio.
Steve Jobs’ firm won the right to bid on over 6,000 patents held by Nortel, after being cleared by the US Justice Department.
It will now join other bidders, including Google, Intel and Ericsson, which all have to make their offers before the 27 June deadline.
The patents cover wireless, data and optical networking, voice, internet, semiconductor and other technologies.
They went on sale afte Nortel filed for bankruptcy back in 2009.
The leading bidder up until now has been Google. The Silicon Valley giant put in an initial stalking horse bid of US$900 million for the patents, which was expected to encourage higher offers from rivals.
RIM was also in the running, although its ability to outbid the competition was in doubt following its most recent set of weak financial results.
The auction will take place at the offices of Nortel’s legal firm next week. No announcement on the bids will be made until a winner has been established.
However, the US Justice Department's anti-trust group would stay with the deal and ensure no rules were broken.