Liberty Media’s TruePosition Sues Alcatel, Ericsson Over 4G Phone Locators

Liberty Media Corp.’s TruePosition unit sued Alcatel-Lucent, LM Ericsson and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), contending they are trying to shut it out of access to the next generation of phone-locator technology.

TruePosition says it provides superior products to help law-enforcement and other agencies identify locations of mobile cellular devices, and that the rivals are violating U.S. antitrust law, according to a complaint filed today in federal court in Philadelphia.

Alcatel, Ericsson and Qualcomm are allegedly “accelerating standardization of their own positioning technology” and trying to “derail” TruePosition’s technology development, according to court documents.

TruePosition, based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, helps police, fire and ambulance services locate more than 55 million callers in the U.S. every year, using more than 90,000 cell towers, the company said in the lawsuit, which seeks damages and an order to stop the “anticompetitive conduct.”

“The defendants, through the guise of creating objective standards for the telecommunication industry, conspired to exclude a competitor,” Stuart Salen, TruePosition general counsel, said in a statement.

“We haven’t even seen the complaint and as is our general policy we do not comment on pending litigation,” Mary Ward, a U.S. spokeswoman for Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent, said in an e- mailed message.

Ericsson Response

“We have to review this suit, so we can’t comment on it at this time,” Fredrik Hallstam, a spokesman for Stockholm-based Ericsson, said in a telephone interview.

“We just learned of the complaint,” which “appears to be TruePosition’s dissatisfaction with the standards-setting process,” and are reviewing it, Christie Thoene, a spokeswoman for San Diego-based Qualcomm, said in an e-mailed statement.

Alcatel-Lucent’s American depositary receipts, each representing one ordinary share, fell 3 cents to $5.14 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Ericsson LM-B shares rose to 91.90 krona today in Stockholm. Qualcomm rose 32 cents to $57.30 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading in New York.

Englewood, Colorado-based Liberty Media’s capital tracking stock fell $1.67 or about 2 percent to $84.08 on the Nasdaq.

The case is TruePosition v. LM Ericsson, 11-cv-4574, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net.

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