updated 11:50 am EST, Wed November 16, 2011
EU says no company prompted Apple, Samsung looks
European Commission's antitrust head for home electronics, Per Hellstroem, mentioned at a conference Wednesday that the investgation of Apple and Samsung hadn't been prompted by another company. Instead of an official complaint, he said the constant patent lawsuits between the two could "involve competition issues" that warranted a look. The EC could make requests for data from the two, and other parties, to see if there was a problem.
The commentary downplayed the possibility that Apple and Samsung had prompted any investigation of each other, or that one of their mutual competitors might have been involved.
It might not necessarily eliminate a separate, more specific EC look into possible Samsung abuse of 3G standards. Those who own essential patents, like Samsung, are supposed to offer patent licenses under fair terms. Apple has claimed that Samsung demanded too high a rate and successfully had Samsung's Dutch case tossed altogether, a verdict that might set precedent for other EU countries.
Although Apple is primarily targeting Samsung for allegedly copying the look and feel of the iPad and iPhone in Galaxy and Galaxy Tab hardware, concerns have existed that Apple was using lawsuits and resulting preliminary bans simply to hinder a competitor using Android. [via Bloomberg]