In the last several years intellectual property has emerged as a strategically important asset class and a number of large patent acquisition transactions have taken place. The acquisition of IDCC would give Google a clear lead over companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, Nokia, Apple, and HTC.
Earlier Google lost out to a consortium that included Apple, Microsoft, and RIM, among others, in winning Nortel's auction of about 6,000 patents. I believe that Apple and Google are in the forefront of the race to acquire IDCC. If Google manages to win the IDCC deal then it could gain access to 8,800 existing patents and 9,700 pending patents. Going by Nortel's patent auction, Google may have to shell out anywhere between $9.5 billion and $10.2 billion. The high end of that estimate would mean a revenue multiple of 25.85, which may not be too pricey considering that IDCC's IP patents (existing and pending) exclusivity would remain beyond 2040.