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US FTC urged to file antitrust lawsuit against Google over wireless patents

Motorola wants to negotiate prices
Fri Nov 02 2012, 12:06
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THE UNITED STATES Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be urged to sue Google over its alleged blocking of access to smartphone related patents.

The FTC is looking into whether it should take Google to task for alleged antitrust behaviour in not granting its competitors cheap access to a number of key wireless patents. Bloomberg reports that four sources within the agency said a staff report will recommend that the FTC file suit against Google.

Apple and Microsoft have been trying to gain access at low prices to Google's wireless patents, which were picked up by the firm when it acquired Motorola Mobility last year. The FTC started its investigation back in June by questioning a number of smartphone manufacturers including Apple and Microsoft over whether Google had offered to license the patents under fair and reasonable terms.

According to Bloomberg, the FTC is particularly irked by Google's decision to continue a lawsuit initiated by Motorola Mobility. According to Motorola Mobility, its standard opening offer on patent royalties to other firms is 2.25 percent, a figure it claims Apple and Microsoft did not want to negotiate.

Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google said, "We take our commitments to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms very seriously and are happy to answer any questions."

Now that Google owns Motorola Mobility, all of the big names in the smartphone industry, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung are directly involved in patent infringement lawsuits, with one trial between Apple and Motorola Mobility set to begin on 5 November. µ


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