Apple Inc, Nokia and Qualcomm Inc are among several technology companies pondering bids for InterDigital Inc, sources familiar with the situation said.
The auction of the wireless telecoms specialist -- expected to be heavily contested as tech giants fight to shore up patent portfolios -- will be postponed from next week to after Labor Day, the sources said.
Google Inc has not formally withdrawn from the auction but it is unclear whether the Internet giant will bid for the company, the sources told Reuters.
Shares in Interdigital, which has a market value of about $3 billion, leapt as much as 12.2 percent on the news. But it quickly backtracked and was up 7 percent at $68.70 in early afternoon trade.
InterDigital is up for sale and is forging ahead with its auction, despite key potential bidder Google agreeing to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion. That triggered a 23 percent drop in InterDigital's shares that day.
First-round bids have been postponed as bidders asked for more time to complete due diligence on the company's patents, sources said.
To make up for that delay, the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company expects to accelerate the second round, the sources said.
Google's presence in the auction is crucial to how much InterDigital can fetch, an analyst said.
Strategically, if Google is not seen as a counter bidder in the auction, this will give prospective buyers a reason not to go aggressive, one source close to the matter said.
"The problem InterDigital has is that Elvis has left the building. He's got his date," Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff said, referring to Google.
Modoff also questioned whether any other technology companies need InterDigital enough to pay the high price at which its shares are currently trading.
He noted that Qualcomm already has a good portfolio of patents, and so may not want to pay up for the business.
"The problem is finding somebody else to whom it's necessary." Modoff said. "It could get acquired but not at where the stock is at (now)."
InterDigital declined to comment. The other potential bidders were not immediately available for comment.