European Commission Investigates Samsung Over Antitrust Regulations

Samsung has been fighting a legal battle with Apple over a number of alleged patent violations. However, there’s a new charge that Samsung may have to deal with. The European Commission is investigating that whether or not Samsung is involved in using it’s wireless patents in a way which are against healthy market competition and which violates the regulations defined by European Telecommunications Standards Institute. 

The investigation as a result of Samsung’s filing of patents against different competing mobile phone vendors over alleged infringement of patents. Samsung has filed these patent cases against a number of companies. According to European Commission, the investigation will look into it and see that whether or not these patents are fair enough and if they are not, whether Samsung has failed to abide by the injunctions of ETSI. ETSI asks  all competitors in the market to ‘license any essential standard patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.’ The Commission will specifically see if Samsung has failed to adhere to this standard.

If found guilty of using it’s patent unfairly, Samsung may be held to a charge of “abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).” This may result in serious repercussions for Samsung, the mildest of which would be a hefty fine.

This launch of formal investigation has come after European Commission conducted a preliminary investigation into Samsung’s policies about it’s patents. A formal investigation could have resulted only if the commission did find some substance to the allegations which point to the possibilities of a verdict against Samsung. The Commission can take years in preliminary investigations but it is unusually swift in it’s investigations against Samsung and says that verdict may be out sooner than expected.

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