Microsoft’s more than $1 billion acquisition of AOL’s patent portfolio earlier this month didn’t come without some competition. And now we’re learning who also was in the ring. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that Facebook was considering purchasing the more than 800 patents, but its bid was too low.

However, the report noted that Facebook still might be interested in purchasing the patents that Microsoft intends to sell from the AOL portfolio. Microsoft holds a small equity stake in Facebook, and the two companies are partners on the advertising front.

Yahoo sued Facebook earlier this year for patent infringement related to advertising services and other technologies, and the company noted the potential consequences of adverse impact from a possible loss of that litigation.

Interestingly, Microsoft announced the patent deal on the same day that Facebook unveiled its acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion.

RelatedA tale of two acquisitions: A few thoughts on the $1 billion bets by Microsoft and Facebook

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  • Guest

    Congrats to Microsoft on executing this deal artfully! After Facebook’s IPO, I expect that much of that new tasty wealth will trickle up to our friends in Redmond for licensing.

    • columnbreak

      I hope that new, tasty wealth trickles throughout Microsoft to create more jobs and better the community in other ways.

    • Guest

      How do you know that any of the patents will be used offensively and therefore result in a revenue gain? Traditionally, MS has used most of its patents for defensive purposes. Both companies spent a billion primarily to protect what they already have. The difference is that FB’s has the potential to result in some customer-experience focused innovation, while MS’s will be mostly about back room legal negotiations.

  • Guest

    Let’s hope the two “partners” weren’t stupid enough to bid up each other. I have to believe that Google was in the mix. Given the value of patents in question, how could they afford not to be?

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