Under the Investment Canada Act, the government must review foreign investments with a book value of more than C$312 million ($328 million) to determine if they are of "net benefit" to the country.Bankruptcy courts in Canada and the United States have already approved the transaction, which has been said to provide Apple with clear ownership of a number of patents related to LTE cellular technology.
But while the Nortel patents' sale price clearly exceeds that threshold, the book value may be far lower. Industry Minister Christian Paradis said investment review officials had come to the conclusion that the sale was not subject to a net benefit review after examining the applicable rules and threshold values.
"Based on the information provided by the investor and Nortel's 2010 audited financial statements, the acquisition of the Nortel patents is not subject to review for net benefit under the Act," Paradis said in a statement.
The purchase may not be entirely in the clear yet, however, as federal antitrust investigators have expressed concern over the possibility that Google may have faced an "unfair coalition" of companies in the bidding for the patents.