The European Commission said Monday that Motorola Mobility may have
abused its dominant market position by denying Apple the right to use
technologyessential for mobile phones.
It is a violation of European
Union antitrust rules for a patent holder to deny use totechnologically
essential patents to companies willing to pay a fair and reasonable
price for their use. Motorola Mobility, which Google bought in August
2011, obtained a court injunction preventing Apple from using certain
patented technologies considered "standard-essential" for the industry.
protection of intellectual property is a cornerstone of innovation and
growth. But so is competition," said Joaquin Almunia, the European
Union's competition commissioner. "I think that companies should spend
their time innovating and competing on the merits of the products they
offer - not misusing their intellectual property rights to hold up
competitors to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice."
preliminary finding, while not a conclusion that any wrong has been
done, could in the end lead to formal anti-trust charges.
Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said that - if it were concluded
that Motorola Mobility had misused its market position, and if a fine
were to be imposed - any such fine would be paid by Motorola Mobility
rather than by Google. He said most of the activity that may have
violated antitrust rules took place before Google acquired the company.