The European Commission has opened two formal antitrust investigations against Motorola Mobility. The Commission will assess whether Motorola has “abusively, and in contravention of commitments it gave to standard setting organizations, used certain of its standard essential patents to distort competition in the Internal Market in breach of EU antitrust rules.”
The opening of proceedings means that the EC will examine the cases as a matter of priority. It doesn’t prejudge the outcome of the investigations. Following complaints by Apple and Microsoft, the Commission will investigate, in particular, whether by seeking and enforcing injunctions against Apple’s and Microsoft’s flagship products such as iPhone, iPad, Windows and Xbox on the basis of patents it had declared essential to produce standard-compliant products, Motorola has failed to honor its commitments made to standard setting organizations.
In these commitments, Motorola engaged to license those standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether Motorola’s behavior amounts to an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).
In addition, the Commission will also assess the allegation by both Apple and Microsoft that Motorola offered unfair licensing conditions for its standard-essential patents in breach of Article 102 TFEU.