Samsung Electronics is in preliminary discussions with the EU antitrust regulator to settle charges slapped on them for allegedly using illegal sales tactics. The Korean chaebol was accused of keeping their chief rival Apple from licensing essential cellular patents.
“Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now. Samsung wants to settle,” an anonymous source told Reuters.
The case against the South Korean electronics giant revolves around patents for Europe’s 3G UMTS standard. Samsung initially said they would agree to license the patents to any rival maker when the standard was adopted. However, according to the regulator, that never happened.
The European Commission went after Samsung when they discovered the company was seeking injunctions against Apple, their chief rival, on the infringement of their patents in multiple European jurisdictions in 2011. The regulator said that by keeping Apple from licensing essential patents for cellular phone technology, it constituted uncompetitive behaviour.
If Samsung were found guilty of unfair sales tactics, it would mean the company forking out $17.5 billion (U.S.) in fines, and that’s a considerable sum even for the likes of Samsung.