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European Commission starts antitrust investigations of Motorola

Opens two investigations
Tue Apr 03 2012, 12:29

COMPETITION REGULATORS in Brussels have started two investigations into Motorola and whether it has abused its market position.

The European Commission (EC) said today that the investigations will look at whether Motorola has gone against its own promises and used its "essential patents" to distort competition.

The EC said that it is following up on complaints by Apple and Microsoft that Motorola is unfairly enforcing injunctions against hardware like the Iphone, Ipad, Xbox and Windows.

Complainants said that Motorola does not honour its commitments to patents standards bodies and has not licensed its property on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. For example, Microsoft has said that its hardware and software is threatened by Motorola's terms for using H.264, which could see it handing over a $22 tribute every time a $1,000 laptop is sold.

The EC said that FRAND commitments should cover the use of things like the H.264 video standard and 2G and 3G mobile and wireless. It said that FRAND terms should be honoured to foster competition and will look into whether this is the case.

Motorola said it is assured of its success here, and that it has honoured its commitments. "Motorola is confident that a thorough investigation will demonstrate that it has honored its FRAND obligations and complied with antitrust laws," said a spokesperson.

"[Motorola Mobility Inc] will continue to work closely with the European Commission to resolve this matter as soon as practicable." µ


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