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EC Threatens to Go on a FRAND Tear

Companies can be fined up to 10% of their global revenues if found guilty of breaching EU competition rules

The European Commission is threatening to charge companies other than Samsung with anti-competitive practices for the way they treat their standards-essential patents and use injunctions to bar rivals from using the patents rather than negotiating fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licenses to the IP as they pledged.

The EC's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia said so at a press conference in Brussels Wednesday.

He did not identify the firms that may be prosecuted for abusing their market position.

Reuters said the EC is currently investigating patent disputes involving Google (Motorola Mobility), Microsoft, Apple, Huawei, InterDigital and patent enforcement company MOSAID.

Last month Samsung was accusing of FRAND abuse for demanding unreasonable terms from Apple for a license to its standards-pledged mobile patents.

"The decision we adopted in December was to launch a statement of objections to Samsung and maybe some others will follow," Almunia said.

Companies can be fined up to 10% of their global revenues if found guilty of breaching EU competition rules.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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