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REUTERS - Google Inc has held preliminary talks about buying wireless developer InterDigital Inc, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
On Tuesday InterDigital had said its board was evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company or of its patents.
The announcement came weeks after a rival consortium of technology giants acquired Nortel Networks' thousands of patents for $4.5 billion.
Google had made the initial bid for Nortel's assets but lost out to a group comprising Apple, Research In Motion, Microsoft Corp, EMC Corp, Ericsson and Sony.
InterDigital holds and licenses around 8,800 mostly telecommunications patents that range from basic wireless system designs and processes to increase network coverage, to saving battery life and the efficient use of bandwidth.
The Journal said that InterDigital expects to fetch a price that not only reflects the value of its patents, but the long-term recurring revenue that stems from licensing patents.
Google and Interdigital have been in touch in recent days but financial advisers for InterDigital will likely approach a wide number of technology companies as part of the auction, the paper said.
Reporting by Santosh Nadgir; Editing by Greg Mahlich