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Samsung faces European antitrust probe

Commission starts formal investigation
Tue Jan 31 2012, 11:53

KOREAN HARDWARE GIANT Samsung is under formal investigation by the European Commission (EC) over alleged business abuses.

A statement from Brussels says that the investigation will look into whether Samsung has abused its place in the European market to "distort competition" by making infringement complaints against rivals that were not deserved.

"The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules," it said.

The EC said it will look to find out whether Samsung has been licensing patents on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms".

"The Commission will examine whether such behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU)," it added.

Samsung has spent a lot of last year arguing with Apple in European courts over patents. We have asked it to comment on this news from the EC. µ


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