A little over a week ago, a consortium of companies including Apple, RIM, Microsoft, EMC, etc. outbid Google for a chunk of Nortel’s patent assets. This asset auction was part of Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings and generated a winning bid $4.5 billion to be collected by creditors. Google was said to be the frontrunner going in, with a cash hoard north of $35 billion that they brought to the party. Check out these bids by Google:
  • $1,902,160,540
  • $2,614,972,128 
  • $3.14159 billion
I recognize the last one as pi, but the other two didn’t click for me. Both are mathematical constants (Brun’s and Messiel- Mertens) that the talented engineers that Google employs, would definitely know about. Apparently I wasn’t a math major in school.

There’s a few theories being tossed around, either Google was indeed being tongue-in-cheek. Alternatively, they were simply bored. It appears their sense of humor potentially contributed to their undoing. Typically there’s a time and place to be funny, but I’m not sure if it’s when there’s a $3-4 billion deal in motion.