Google U.S. antitrust lawsuit said to be urged by FTC investigators over Internet search, FRAND abuse

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

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.

Related articles:
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


    1. While working I recall seeing many 300+ page documents called “memo of understanding,” “memo of intent,” and others. You should see the followon papers, “document of understanding,” “document of interest,” etc.

      At the other end you have the absurdly-named “brief” which can run as much as 150 to 200 pages.

      Creation gave us language and words to communicate; then creation gave us lawyers to undo all intelligent communication.

      My utopian vision of the legal system would be:

      Judge: Are you guilty or not guilty?

      Defendant: Not guilty

      Judge: Prosecutor, please tell us in 25 words or less why you think the defendant is guilty.

      Prosecutor: {yadda yadda ya}

      Judge: Defendant, please tell us in 25 words or less why you are innocent.

      half an hour later the verdict is rendered and the next case is heard. If a “brief” is filed, it must be 25 words or less.

      I live in a dreamland…

      1. The truth is many facetted and words are limited in their ability to convey meaning. What is needed is a well told story that describes each of the points of view to get at the essence of the real truth behind the event being judged. We now have multimedia to help tell the story and printed words are not enough. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear can tell that Google/Samsung et al. are thieving copycats though.

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