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A Funny Thing Happened to Microsoft-Led Novell Patent-Buying Consortium

Consortium withdrew its registration with the German antitrust authorities on December 30

That scare-the-open-source-community-to-death Microsoft-Apple-Oracle-EMC consortium that's supposed to buy 882 unknown Novell patents for $450 million cash as an "it-won't-happen-without-it" part of Novell's pending $2.2 billion acquisition by Attachmate, withdrew its registration with the German antitrust authorities on December 30 according to an amended notice on the Bundeskartellamt's web site.

The terse unexplained "Rücknahme" or "withdrawn" change was first noticed by PC World.

It may just be happenstance that the Microsoft-organized consortium, otherwise known as CPTN Holdings LLC, pulled back the papers seeking regulator approval right after the Open Source Initiative (OSI) complained asking the authorities to investigate.

Microsoft says, "This is a purely procedural step necessary to provide time to allow for review of the proposed transaction."

Apparently CPTN will refile.

Novell is depending on the patent deal to deliver the promised $6.10-a-share acquisition deal to its stockholders. Without CPTN's $450 million and less the $1.03 billion Novell is supposed to have in the bank, Attachmate would actually get Novell for a mere $720 million, a number many people think is closer to what it's really worth.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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