According to SlashGear, sources are reporting to Reuters that Samsung is in negotiations to settle antitrust issues in Europe. Those charges stem from an Apple complaint made to the European Commission about Samsung’s leverage of 3G UMTS standards, which Apple contended should fall under FRAND guidelines. This, as you may have guessed, all stems from the lengthy and ongoing battle between the two tech magnates over their original battle concerning device design.
Reuters is reporting that the discussions may not necessarily result in a settlement, but may be to mitigate financial damages that could reach upward of $17 million. We reported back in December of 2012 that Samsung could still faces charges, even though they withdrew their injunction request against Apple. It seems this is the culmination of that scuffle.
Though it’s possible Samsung could simply walk away from the talks with no penalty, it’s not likely. If the EU finds that Samsung willingly violated FRAND guidelines, there will certainly be penalties.
Mario Marinello, a former commission economist and currently at Bruegel, notes that Samsung could have done everything right, but still be penalized. “The Commission could construct a theory of harm based on the concept of a willing licensee, in which Apple was willing to pay but Samsung didn’t negotiate. This would make it possible for it to sanction something that is contrary to competition law.”
The good news is that with every ruling, these disagreements start to rectify themselves. As fun as it can be to watch to tech giants wage war all over the earth, the lack of effort on either part of the table to settle these issues quickly is getting tiresome. The results are what matter, but the process is dragging on much longer than it should.