Apple/Samsung Legal Skirmishes Have A New Player: The European Commission
The ongoing, back-and-forth legal fight that is the Apple/Samsung patent dispute today took on a new dimension in one of its key battlegrounds, when the European Commission launched an antitrust inquiry into Samsung’s technology licensing practices.
This looks like the next step along in an investigation that was first launched by the European Commission last year, when its interest was piqued by cases concerning Samsung’s technology patents.
At least some of these patents fall under FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) licensing rules that regulate how much Samsung can charge Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to license them for use in products like its iPhone and iPad. Apple contends it has paid up; Samsung believes it has not.
The Commission’s chief antitrust interest is in whether Samsung, being a dominant player in the handset market, is overcharging its handset competitors (like Apple) to use these patents as a way of handicapping them in the market.
The Commission writes in a news release that launching formal proceedings “means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority,” but not that it has already taken a judgement on the matter.
We have reached out to Samsung for a formal response to this announcement … Read the full story at Paidcontent.co.uk