Samsung to be charged by EU over Apple patent battle

Europe’s top regulatory authority will charge Samsung over abuse of patents.

The European Commission is very close to issuing a statement of objections against the electronics giant, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Thursday. The list of Samsung’s alleged breaches of European competition law may be released before the end of the year, he said.

Samsung is accused of abusing its dominant market position by filing patent lawsuits against Apple.

Earlier in the week, Samsung announced that it would withdraw all its injunctions against Apple in European countries and the commissioner said that while he was happy with this news, his department would continue to investigate “to see if abuses happened in the past.”

“One of the biggest issues we have with holders of standard essential patents is using them to launch injunctions before attempting to license on FRAND [fair reasonable and non discriminatory] terms. This is precisely what we are investigating in the Samsung case,” Almunia said.

Samsung did not just threaten Apple with injunctions, it launched them, he said, leaving the Commission “dissatisfied.”

Sources at Samsung said that they had been informed that Thursday’s announcement was imminent, but the company did not issue an official statement.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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