Samsung in Talks to Settle EU Antitrust Charges Linked to Lawsuits Against Apple
Reuters reports that Samsung is in preliminary talks with European Union regulators in order to settle antitrust charges stemming from the company's use of standards-essential patents in litigation against Apple. Samsung could have faced fines of up to $17.3 billion, but any settlement would apparently result in no fine and no admission of wrongdoing.
"Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now. Samsung wants to settle," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The sources said it was still too early to say if the discussions would result in a settlement.
Samsung has come under criticism for using standards-essential patents in litigation, as such patents are required to be licensed under reasonable terms in order to allow competitors to offer products supporting industry standards. Many regulators and observers believe that such patents should not be used to pursue injunctions preventing competitors from selling their products, even while licensing agreements have not yet been reached.
Samsung had dropped its lawsuits against Apple back in December "in the interest of protecting consumer choice", although it was clear that the European Commission was pressuring Samsung over its use of the patents in court.
Google's Motorola Mobility unit has come under similar scrutiny from European regulators over its use of standards-essential patents in lawsuits against Apple.
In other Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit news, Bloomberg reports that Apple has lost its appeal in a Japanese case in which it claimed that Samsung infringed upon a patent related to synchronizing music and video data with servers. Samsung had prevailed in an initial trial back in August.