Samsung addresses EU concerns in antitrust probe

NEW YORK Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:29pm EDT

Women stand in front of an ad during the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear in Jakarta, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Women stand in front of an ad during the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear in Jakarta, September 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Beawiharta

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co on Friday offered remedies that may settle a European Union probe over whether it breached antitrust rules through its use of patent lawsuits against rival Apple Inc.

"Samsung has agreed to propose commitments that will be market tested," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a speech in New York on Friday. "We hope to conclude this case."

The details of the offer were not disclosed, and Samsung could not immediately be reached for comment.

South Korean-based Samsung attempted to settle with the European Commission earlier but the antitrust regulator had said it wanted more concessions.

Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone makers by volume and sales, are locked in patent disputes in at least 10 countries as they vie for control of the lucrative and fast-growing mobile market.

Samsung dropped injunction requests against Apple in Europe after the Commission filed charges against it last year.

The Commission also charged Google's Motorola Mobility with a similar anti-competitive offense in May.

The Samsung case may help bring clarity to technology patents known as standard-essential patents, or SEPs, across the industry.

(Reporting By Karen Freifeld; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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Comments (1)
LoveJoyOne wrote:
Both Samsbung and Google’s surrogate Motorola have been trying to use FRAND patents to disrupt competition, both in Europe and in America.

The very purpose of FRAND is to allow innovation and competition simultaneously by making certain technologies standard and available to all competitors. Those accorded FRAND patents are allowed to collect “reasonable” licensing fees and be assured that their own products will be standard setters.

The catch is the fees must be reasonable, fair and non-discriminatory, meaning the patent holder cannot decide to withhold a license to a given competitor in the marketplace in order to gain a competitive advantage. This is precisely what Samsung tried to do.

It’s not enough for them to just say they’re sorry once they’ve been reprimanded. They should have thought about that BEFORE violating the terms on which the FRAND patents were accorded.

How about just revoking those FRAND patents entirely?

Sep 28, 2013 3:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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