EU to Hit Samsung with Antitrust Charges

The European Commission confirmed on Thursday that it will be formally charging Samsung in its antitrust investigation related to the company abusing its market position by filing for Apple product sales injunctions over patent infringement claims. Samsung withdrew it injunction request earlier this week, but the EU is still moving forward with its case.

Samsung faces antitrust charges in Europe"We will adopt a statement of objections very soon. I don't know if before the end of this year or the beginning of next year because we are in the last step of our internal procedures," EU antitrust official Joaquín Alumunia told the Financial Times.

EU officials were pleased that Samsung dropped the injunction request, although the electronics maker is still planning on moving forward with its patent infringement lawsuit against Apple.

"We are very happy if these [requested] injunctions are withdrawn but we will continue to investigate the possible abuses that existed... in the past," Mr. Alumunia said.

Samsung's lawsuit against Apple in Europe alleges the iPhone and iPad maker is infringing on standards essential patents (SEP). Apple doesn't have licensing deals in place with Samsung for some of the listed patents, and it claimed that component makers are already paying necessary licensing fees.

Apple also claimed that Samsung isn't offering fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms for its SEPs -- an accusation that Samsung is denying.

Samsung said it dropped the injunction request "in the interest of protecting consumer choice," although Florian Mueller of Foss Patents disagreed.

"There can be no doubt whatsoever that the European Commission was behind this," he said. "Samsung would never have done this voluntarily, especially not in jurisdictions such as Germany that do not rule out SEP-based injunctions at all."

In the end, Samsung's motives may be immaterial since the European Commission is still moving forward with its case and plans to file formal charges soon.