EU Open to Samsung Antitrust Settlement on Patent Abuse

The European Union is open to a settlement with Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, over a patent-abuse case, said Cecilio Madero, the EU’s deputy director-general for antitrust.

Samsung has to decide whether it wants to settle, he said. “We are ok one way or the other,” Madero said, following a speech in Brussels today.

The EU is cracking down on patent abuses as Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility, Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung trade victories in divergent court rulings across the world on intellectual property.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia last year sent Samsung a formal complaint saying its use of court injunctions seeking to block Apple products in relation to so-called standard-essential patents violates antitrust rules in the 27-nation bloc.

Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, has said it would drop such actions in Europe. The company declined to comment on Madero’s comments.

Industry-standard technology helps ensure products such as mobile phone antennas and global-positioning system software can operate together when made by different manufacturers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at gsebag@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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