EU Regulators Tell Samsung to Offer More In Order to End Antitrust Case
Regulators in the European Union seem to be calling for Samsung to offer greater concessions in order to head off a fine over antitrust violations in its ongoing patent disputes with Apple. According to EU Spokesman Jonathan Todd, "The Commission can confirm that Samsung has submitted proposals, the Commission has assessed them and asked Samsung to improve them."
EU regulators continue to hold that Samsung breached antitrust rules when it brought suit against Apple in several EU countries beginning in 2011. Samsung sought out injunctions against Apple’s iPhone and other products, partially in response to Apple’s filing suit alleging that Samsung’s willful violation of its own intellectual property and design patents. The patents that Samsung sought to enforce though were standard-essential patents, including some related to mobile telephony. The companies that hold standards-essential patents are required under international law to extend fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) offers to willful licensees.
Originally hitting Samsung with a complaint last year, the European Commission claimed that the firm didn’t adhere to its FRAND responsibilities when it filed suit against Apple and furthermore, the violation of FRAND principles also constituted anti-competitive action. Samsung has been in discussions with the Commission since June 25 to settle the issue.
The EU spokesman didn’t go into further detail regarding to what concessions Samsung has offered so far. If the South Korean tech giant is unable to persuade the Commission that it will abandon anti-competitive practices, it could face a fine of up to 10% of its 2012 revenues, which equates to $18.3 billion. We’ll have to see what happens next.