FTC staff reportedly supports suing Google for violating antitrust lawsAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Well, this is interesting. A new report has claimed that Google may be the target of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit for violating antitrust laws. Sources speaking to Bloomberg allege that a majority of the FTC's group of five commissioners are in favor of suing Google for not agreeing to license standard essential smartphone patents to competitors. The patents are owned by Motorola, which was officially acquired by Google earlier this year. The sources of this report say that a final decision on the matter isn't likely to come until after next week's presidential election. A Google spokesperson said that the search company is "happy to answer any questions" related to its patent licensing commitments.
According to the today's report, Google's attempts to block the importation of Apple and Microsoft products with Motorola-owned standard essential patents are what the FTC has been focusing on. If a patent is standard essential, the patent holder must be willing to license it out on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis, which apparently the FTC's commissioners feel Google isn't doing. Whether or not a lawsuit actually materializes is something that we'll have to wait to find out. Stay tuned.