“U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigators are circulating an internal draft memo that recommends suing Google Inc. for abusing its dominance of Internet search in violation of antitrust laws, three people familiar with the matter said,” Sara Forden and Jeff Bliss report for Bloomberg.
“The more than 100-page memo has been distributed to the agency’s five commissioners, who will decide whether to sue, two of the people said,” Forden and Bliss report. “A majority of commissioners, including FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, have expressed concerns internally about Google’s practices, and are deciding how to proceed, two of the people said.”
Forden and Bliss report, “Separately, the FTC is considering a second lawsuit against Google for misusing patent protections to block rivals’ smartphones from coming to market, said four people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the investigation… On the patent investigation, the agency is scrutinizing whether a strategy of seeking court orders to ban Apple Inc. and Microsoft from using mobile and video compression technology is anticompetitive, said the people. The agency issued a civil investigative demand, which is similar to a subpoena, seeking to learn whether Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is honoring pledges it made to license industry-standard technology for mobile and other devices on fair terms, three people familiar with the situation said in June.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Anything that curtails companies from abusing standards-essential patents in order to protect themselves from charges and/or delay punishments for infringing other companies’ design patents is a welcome development.
U.S. FTC investigating Google, Motorola Mobility over FRAND abuse – June 30, 2012
EU launches full-blown investigation of Samsung’s suspected abuse of FRAND-pledged patents; Motorola on notice – January 31, 2012
Apple asked standards body to set rules for essential FRAND patents – February 8, 2012