Novell acquisition delayed till April 12th
Novell has confirmed that the Department of Justice investigation into the sale of patents to the Microsoft-founded CPTN Holdings will delay the company's acquisition by Attachmate until at least 12 April. The news came in an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. CPTN Holdings was created by a consortium of companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and EMC, to purchase Novell's patent portfolio for $450M, as part of the deal which would see Attachmate purchase Novell for $2.2 billion.
A second request for information from Novell was made in February after the OSI and FSF asked the Department of Justice to intervene over the effect that the purchase of the patents could have on free and open source software developers and vendors. Whether the DoJ is investigating that issue or examining other patent issues, such as WordPerfect related patents, is unclear. Novell says in its 8K that it and CPTN "certified as to its substantial compliance" with the second request and have agreed to not attempt to close the patent sale until 12 April. The Attachmate acquisition is dependent on the patent sale going ahead and the patent sale itself will also require antitrust approval in Germany.