The EU is not going to intervene to stop Apple and Microsoft buying up Open Source patents as part of the break-up of Novell. The move is widely feared by the Open Source community advocates the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) who think the patents will be used to kill off Linux.
However according to the Fospatents blog the EU has indicated that the move does not break any competition laws. The EU's competition chief said so in reply to a written question put forward by Emma McClarkin, a British conservative from the East Midlands.
It looks like the EU does not want to get involved in any fire sales of software after a company goes under. While the EU knows that patents have played a role in some EU competition cases, companies can sell any of their patents pretty much like they sell products, their office furniture, used company cars, or real estate.
We guess it all depends with what those companies do after they have bought the patents that bothers the EU. Owning them is not really a crime.