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Nortel's Patent; Blackboard Goes Private

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel has sold its patent portfolio for $4.5 billion to a consortium that includes Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report). The group beat out Google (GOOG - Get Report) and Intel (INTC) who were also vying for the 6,000 patent assets related to next-generation wireless technologies.

In April, Google made a $900 million stalking horse bid for the patents as a defensive move to prevent others from suing the search giant as it moves more aggressively into the mobile business through its Android platform.

Shares of Google fell 0.3% to $505.11 in pre-market trading on Friday.

Blackboard (BBBB), the educational software company, will be acquired by Providence Equity Partners for $1.6 billion, the companies said on Friday. Providence will pay $45 per share in cash for the company. Shares of Blackboard closed Thursday at $43.39.

Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) on Thursday said that it is acquiring storage start-up Pillar Data Systems. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison already owns a 55% stake in Pillar and has loaned the company $544 million over the last several years.

Shares of Oracle fell 0.1% in pre-market trading on Friday.

The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Twitter and its communication with another company, according to reports. UberMedia, another company that makes applications that allow people to read and send Twitter messages, has also been contacted by the FTC. The inquiry may involve whether or not Twitter was involved in anticompetitive behavior towards other developers and businesses using Twitter data, the reports said.

Facebook is launching a new feature next week that may be related to the mobile or tablet space, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters on Thursday. The social networking giant is releasing "something awesome," he said, adding that the project had been developed in the company's Seattle-based engineering office.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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