Samsung is inclined to wave the white flag in its issues with
European Union antitrust regulators rather than take its chances
fighting it out, according to a new report.
Samsung and the European Union’s European Commission, which regulates
corporate competition in the zone, are currently in preliminary talks
to settle an investigation into the company’s use of essential mobile
patents, Reuters reported
on Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of those talks.
The European Commission has been investigating Samsung over its use
of standard-essential patents in its lawsuits against Apple across the
EU. Samsung holds essential patents on the 3G UMTS standard. In order to
obtain the patents, the company was forced to agree that it would
license them on fair and reasonable terms to any and all companies that
requested their use. By seeking injunctions against Apple products by
citing those patents, the EU is concerned Samsung might not be holding
up its end of the bargain.
In December, the Commission said that in its preliminary view, Samsung engaged in a “potential misuse” of essential patents, adding that its practices might have been “anticompetitive.”
For its part, Samsung has publicly said that it’s innocent. However,
Reuters’ sources say that the company “has been involved in settlement
discussions for several months now,” and would really like to get this
mess behind it.
Whether Samsung will actually be able to settle, however, remains to
be seen. According to Reuters’ sources, the discussions are still
preliminary. However, if a settlement is reached, Samsung would likely
not face any fines. If the company decided to battle it out, it could
get hit with up to $17.3 billion in fines.