EC v Samsung: A whole year to compile a case

 Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on several decisions regarding business agreements and abuse of dominant position. 20/12/2012.

Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on several decisions regarding business agreements and abuse of dominant position. 20/12/2012.

It took almost one year to the European Commission to decide that Samsung is potentially abusing its dominant position, in the mobile telephony standard patents.

It was January 2012 when the EC issued a statement saying that, “The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules”.

Then a few days before Christmas of 2012, on 21 December, the EC sent to Samsung a “Statement of Objection” accusing the company of on potential misuse of mobile telephony standard and essential patens. The background of the story has taken place in 2011 in the courtrooms of a number of EU member states, with Samsung seeking injunctions against Apple, on the basis of its mobile phone standard-essential patents (“SEPs”). Then the EC in December 2012 decided that this behaviour by Samsung “amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules”.

Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia some days before Christmas 2012 said: “Intellectual property rights are an important cornerstone of the single market. However, such rights should not be misused when they are essential to implement industry standards, which bring huge benefits to businesses and consumers alike. When companies have contributed their patents to an industry standard and have made a commitment to license the patents in return for fair remuneration, then the use of injunctions against willing licensees can be anti-competitive.”

The question is why it took so long to Mr Almunia to decide that this behaviour is a breach of fair competition rules, detrimental to business and consumers. Of course there are certain procedures in those matters that take time, but the issue didn’t need an extensive market research by the Commission services, in order to conclude that Samsung with those legal injunctions was seeking to intimidate its competitors and extend as long as possible its dominant market position, based on those patents.

In reality a whole passed for the Commission to simply state that, “Samsung’s seeking of injunctions against Apple in various Member States on the basis of its mobile phone standard-essential patents (“SEPs”) amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules. While recourse to injunctions is a possible remedy for patent infringements, such conduct may be abusive where SEPs are concerned and the potential licensee is willing to negotiate a licence on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (so-called “FRAND”) terms”.

But this was just a legal issue that required a logically brief period to compile. Any delays in applying the relevant fair competition rules, is truly a licence for the offender, to continue exercising its practices and thus pocket more returns from this unfair and possibly illegal behaviour.

As they say “time is money” and in cases like this there is much of it. The logical conclusion of his argument may even be that the Commission gives an indirect permission to the offender to continue profiting from its unfair practices.

Unless the EC manages at the end to impose such a big fine, to the culpable party so as to take account of the extra profits illegally pocketed.
The European Sting will be closely monitoring this case.

Read the EC’s decision: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1448_en.htm

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

Freshwater is saltier – and it’s bad for the planet and our health

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

UN should be ‘exemplary’ in defending judicial independence, top Judge tells Security Council

Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to deprive Europeans of their right to Health

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

1st Exclusive High Level Dialogue: China-EU Cybersecurity and 5G Cooperation

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

UN welcomes ‘record’ Brussels conference pledge of nearly $7 billion to support Syrians

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

UN expresses concern following wave of street protests in Iraq and elsewhere

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Three-quarters of South Sudanese children have known nothing but war, says UNICEF

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

UN report sheds light on ‘unimaginable horrors’ faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, and beyond

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Poland: €676 million worth of EU investments in better rails and roads

United States: UN human rights office welcomes California moratorium on death penalty

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Remembering slave trade offers chance to raise awareness, ‘oppose all forms of modern slavery’ – UNESCO

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

AI-driven companies need to be more diverse. Here’s why

Brexit: new European Parliament reaffirms wholehearted support for EU position

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

What’s going on in Chernobyl today?

Brexit: Only Corbyn and May in concert can make the needed compromises

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The cost of housing is tearing our society apart

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The global issue of migration in 2017

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

Greece did it again

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

Digital Single Market: Survey shows Europeans are well aware of rules against unjustified geo-blocking

Pakistan: UN Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ terrorist attacks

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s