EU Launches Antitrust Probe into Samsung

Apple may have struck a blow in its current battle with Samsung over wireless technology patents, without actually doing anything.

News broke today that the European Union is launching a formal investigation into Samsung and its potential breach of EU antitrust rules. The investigation itself will focus on FRAND patents which means patent appliciations related to standards must be “fair, reasonable, and on non-discriminatory terms.”

The EU obviously believes Samsung hasn’t been acting entirely above board with regards to its current patent dealings with Apple…

Samsung did inform the EU ten years ago that it would in fact license its mobile patents to competitors when required, but that hasn’t stopped the company initiating legal proceedings across a variety of countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands over patent infringements related to essential wireless communications standards.

“The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

Samsung hasn’t yet responded to the news the EU will be investigating it, but we’re sure someone, somewhere deep in a Batcave at 1 Infinite Loop is having a cheeky smile right about now.