The European Union’s top antitrust authority has launched an investigation into Samsung’s use of patents to block sales of Apple products, reports “Computerworld” (

Samsung has sued Apple in five E.U. countries alleging infringement of its patents on 3G mobile technology. The European Commission will now consider whether the South Korean company is abusing the principle of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing in these cases.

If the Commission finds that Samsung is guilty of antitrust infringements, it could force Samsung to drop its legal cases against Apple in Europe, with possible repercussions on other cases worldwide, notes “Computerworld.” The Commission also has the power to impose fines, the article adds.