A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Monday approved a July auction for key assets of bankrupt Nortel.

The Canadian-based telecommunications gear maker, which employs some 2,000 people in the Triangle, filed for bankruptcy protection in January.

Nortel needed court permission to proceed with the sale of some of its key wireless technology to Nokia Siemens Networks for some $650 million. Some creditors had protested Nortel’s announced plans.

Under a “stalking horse bidder” plan approved by the court, Reuters news service reported that Nokia Siemens will have the right to match any higher bids. The auction is set for July 24.

Appearing before the court, Nortel Chief Strategy Officer George Riedel said that concerns about Nortel’s financial stability necessitated the sale.

Verizon and other companies told Nortel “we love your technology, but we are concerned about your balance sheet,” Riedel said, according to Bloomberg news. “Unfortunately for us, we will win the technology prize, but not the commercial business.”