Motorola in EC probe for billing Apple and Microsoft too much

City A.M. Reporter
EU regulators are investigating whether phone maker Motorola Mobility breached antitrust rules by allegedly over-charging Microsoft and Apple for use of its patents in their products, the European Commission said yesterday.

The EU regulator said it had opened two investigations into Motorola Mobility based on Microsoft’s and Apple’s grievances.

The commission will investigate whether Motorola has failed to honour its “irrevocable commitments” made to standard-setting organisations, which produce international standards for information and communication technologies.

The EU watchdog said it would also investigate whether Motorola offered unfair licensing conditions for its standard-essential patents. It can fine companies up to 10 per cent of their global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

Microsoft asked EU antitrust regulators in February to intervene in its patent dispute with Motorola.

At the time, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel Dave Heiner said in a blog post that Motorola Mobility “has refused to make its patents available at anything remotely close to a reasonable price.”

Motorola Mobility’s shares dropped 0.25 per cent to $39.13.