“At the auction for Nortel Networks’ wireless patents this week, Google’s bids were mystifying, such as $1,902,160,540 and $2,614,972,128,” Nadia Damouni reports for Reuters.

“Math whizzes might recognize these numbers as Brun’s constant and Meissel-Mertens constant, but it puzzled many of the people involved in the auction, according to three people with direct knowledge of the situation on Friday,” Damouni reports. “‘It became clear that they were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun. One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi,’ [one of] the source[s] said, adding the bid was $3.14159 billion. ‘Either they were supremely confident or they were bored.'”

Advertisement: Students, parents and Faculty save up to $200 on a new Mac.

Damouni reports, “It was not clear what strategy Google (GOOG.O) was employing, whether it wanted to confuse rival bidders, intimidate them, or simply express the irreverence that is part and parcel of its corporate persona. Whatever its reasons, Google’s shenanigans did not work.”

“A group of six companies — Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony — won the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents and patent applications with a $4.5 billion bid,” Damouni reports. “By Wednesday… the field narrowed to two — the Apple consortium called ‘Rockstar,’ and the Google bidding vehicle named ‘Ranger,’ the sources said… Google declined to comment for this article, but called the auction results ‘disappointing.'”

Many more details in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple consortium wins $4.5 billion Nortel patent trove auction; Google, Intel lose bidding battle – July 1, 2011
Intel gets antitrust approval to bid on Nortel patents – June 24, 2011
Apple gets U.S. antitrust approval to bid for Nortel patent trove – June 23, 2011
Apple, Intel among bidders for Nortel patent trove – June 17, 2011
Nortel delays patent auction one week citing significant interest – June 16, 2011
RIM looks to outbid Apple, Google, and Nokia for Nortel’s patent treasure trove – April 18, 2011
Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents in quest to boost patent portfolio – April 4, 2011
Apple reportedly bidding for Nortel patent portfolio – December 13, 2010