Unidentified sources say that Google could be close to settling one of the two Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust actions against the company. For more than a year, the FTC has been investigating Google’s handling of standards-essential patents that it acquired with the purchase of Motorola Mobility.
The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati stated, “Google Inc. is weighing whether to settle a potential claim by U.S. authorities that it violated antitrust law in the way it handles mobile-device patents, according to a person familiar with the matter. At issue, according to two people familiar with the matter, is whether Google improperly refused to grant patent licenses to some mobile device competitors and sought court injunctions against them to stop their products from being sold.”
CNET’s Donna Tam noted, “The FTC is investigating whether Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is improperly blocking access to industry-standard technology that should be licensed to competitors according to traditional industry and legal practice.”
According to SlashGear’s Brittany Hillen, “Google declined comment on the matter, except to say that it would cooperate. The FTC declined comment altogether. The potential terms for a settlement are unknown.”
However, even if it settles the mobile patents case, Google still faces action by the EU and the FTC related to its search practices. Politico’s David Saleh Rauf and Elizabeth Wasserman reported that case could be heating up as Google’s competitors call for action. “A coalition of rivals prodding regulators in the U.S. and Europe to bring antitrust lawsuits against Google is raising a series of new concerns with the search company’s business practices — this time claiming that Google is using Android to squash competition and corner the increasingly lucrative mobile market,” they wrote. “A confidential white paper provided to POLITICO outlines a range of alleged anti-competitive conduct that is allowing Google to ‘extend its desktop search dominance and eliminate competition in the mobile OS,’ according to the report.”