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Google, FTC Settle Antitrust Case 59

itwbennett writes "According to an ITworld report, 'Google has agreed to change some of its business practices, including allowing competitors access to some standardized technologies, to resolve a U.S. Federal Trade Commission antitrust complaint against the company.' This includes 'allow[ing] competitors access to standards-essential patents the company acquired along with its purchase of Motorola Mobility.' Also among the business practices Google has agreed to stop is 'scraping Web content from rivals and allegedly passing it off as its own, said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.'" SlashCloud has some more details, including links to the agreement itself and Google's soft-pedaling description of "voluntary product changes."
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Google, FTC Settle Antitrust Case

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  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @06:58PM (#42468605)

    All Google agreed was that the patents it holds which are essential to the implementation of certain mobile-telephony standards will be licensed under FRAND terms [wikipedia.org]. They didn't agree to let them be used for free or anything. Why weren't those already the terms?

    Google is required by the Consent Order to make a very specific offer regarding FRAND licensing (to the point that the order includes fill-in-the-blank demand letters Google is to use) before seeking injunctive relief; the FTC sees this as a correction to Google/MMI's past approach in these cases where, in the FTC's view, Google/MMI didn't do as much as it should have regarding seeking a FRAND licensing commitment before seeking injunctive relief.

    Its not really a big loss for Google, since Google would be quite happy for other parties to have the option of making the commitment that the letter offers instead of going through an injunction process (which allows Google to demand reciprocal licensing as part of the offer), and even moreso Google would be quite happy with the FTC's stated intent that the proposed approach would become a general model for handling of disputes centered on the use of standards-essential patents.

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