Bloomberg reports that Facebook was interested in bidding on AOL’s 800 patents—that is before Microsoft won the bidding war for $1 billion. AOL had announced it would be auctioning its patents the day Mark Zuckerberg announced he was buying Instagram for $1 billion.
Today it was announced that Microsoft would pay $1 billion for more than 800 patents from AOL and will license 300 more. However, Microsoft is planning on turning around and selling some of these patents, so Facebook will still have an opportunity to buy some. The AOL management plans to return a large chuck of this money to the AOL shareholders. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong stated that
“We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft," said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in the release. "The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value."Source - Facebook Tried To Buy AOL's Patents Before Microsoft Bid $1 Billion, Business Insider
AOL Will Sell More Than 800 Patents To Microsoft In A $1 Billion Deal, Business Insider
WEIRD: Microsoft Is Planning To Sell Most Of The Patents It Bought From AOL Business Insider
BJB - slightly edited for style. Intellectual property rights, whether copyrights on content, or patents for innovations, remains the key for controlling uses.