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December 20, 2012

European Regulators May Soon Charge Samsung on Antitrust Allegations

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Numerous reports suggest European Union regulators will soon charge Samsung (News - Alert) for antitrust violations.

“We will adopt a statement of objections very soon. I don’t know if before the end of this year or the beginning of next year because we are in the last step of our internal procedures,” Joaquin Almunia, who heads up the EU’s antitrust office, told the Financial Times.

If found guilty, according to TMCnet, the European Commission can impose fines on the company. Fines can be up to 10 percent of Samsung’s “total annual turnover,” Reuters added.

The recent news comes just a few days after Samsung said it would withdraw its actions to ban Apple (News - Alert) products in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and France.

“We strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court,” Samsung said. “In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.”

Apple and Samsung are engaged in legal battles in some 10 nations over patent disputes. It was widely reported how this past August, a California trial led to Samsung being ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for patent violations.

Also, in November 2011 the EC started a preliminary investigation into Samsung's patent policies. The EC then told Samsung in January it was the subject of an inquiry on whether it used patent rights to “distort competition in European mobile device markets” – an apparent violation of EU law, according to Apple Insider.

The law relates to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute – which requires the company “to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms," CNET added.

The EC is conducting an inquiry on Google’s (News - Alert) Motorola Mobility, Apple and Microsoft.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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