* EU Commission to probe if Motorola sets unfair fees for
* Microsoft filed EU complaint in February
* Google in the process of buying Motorola Mobility
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, April 3 EU regulators are
investigating whether phone maker Motorola Mobility
breached antitrust rules by allegedly over-charging Microsoft
and Apple for use of its patents in their
products, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
The European Commission, the EU antitrust regulator in the
27-country European Union, said it had opened two investigations
into Motorola Mobility based on Microsoft's and Apple's
The Commission said it will investigate whether Motorola has
failed to honour its "irrevocable commitments" made to
standard-setting organisations, which produce international
standards for information and communication technologies.
The EU watchdog said it would also investigate whether
Motorola offered unfair licensing conditions for its
standard-essential patents. It can fine companies up to 10
percent of their global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU
Microsoft had asked EU antitrust regulators in February to
intervene in its patent dispute with Motorola.
Microsoft's deputy general counsel Dave Heiner said in a
blog post at the time that Motorola Mobility "has refused to
make its patents available at anything remotely close to a
Heiner said Motorola Mobility's action was akin to blocking
sales of Microsoft's Windows PCs, Xbox game console and other
products. Microsoft also named Google, which is in the
process of acquiring Motorola Mobility, in its complaint.
Google had pledged to license Motorola patents on fair and
reasonable terms just before EU regulators cleared its bid to
EU regulators are also investigating whether Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd has infringed EU antitrust rules
in its patent disputes with Apple in courts across Europe.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said last month
that companies holding these "standard essential" patents had
considerable market power, which could be used to harm
competition and that this was unacceptable.