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Mosaid, Sterling close $570m deal, fuel patent wars

updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon December 19, 2011

Mosaid bought by Sterling Fund Management

Frequent patent-based attacker Mosaid on Monday said its shareholders had greenlit a plan that would sell the company to Sterling Fund Management for $570 million, or slightly less than the $590 million mentioned in October. It should close by the end of this week. Sterling's exact aims weren't mentioned with the deal.

For Mosaid, the goal was partly to avoid Wi-LAN takeover attempts that it thought were undervalued.

Sterling's funding potentially causes problems for the technology industry by giving Mosaid support to continue its campaign. The company has launched a broad campaign to collect royalties from every Wi-Fi device it can. Now that Mosaid manages Nokia patents, concerns have come from Barnes & Noble that it may act as a go-between not just for Nokia but for Microsoft too in an attempt to silence Android-based devices like the Nook Tablet.

Sterling's focus isn't normally on technology and makes it an unusual acquirer. With the potential for large royalties, however, Sterling may have seen Mosaid as a way to make a quick return on an investment.

by MacNN Staff



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