Items tagged with antitrust

It’s hardly been a secret that Google is the European Union’s doghouse, but now the hostility is official. The EU delivered Google with a Statement of Objections that accuses it of skewing search results towards the company’s own services. To top things off, the EU is looking into accusations that Android, Google’s smartphone operating system, also violates antitrust rules. “In the case of Google I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. “Google now... Read more...
Tensions between the European Union and Google never seem to subside, nor are they likely to anytime soon as the former reportedly prepares to issue antitrust charges against the latter as part of a five-year investigation. Early indications are that this could be the most high-profile antitrust case brought on by the EU since it spanked Microsoft with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. According to The Wall Street Journal and its numerous unnamed sources, the European Commission is in the process of contacting... Read more...
Google has once again found itself in the sights of an anti-competitive watchdog, and this time, it's in Russia. For the first time since 2010, Russia's biggest search engine, Yandex, has dipped below 60% marketshare, and it blames Google's Android OS for causing it to happen. At last check, Yandex counts its marketshare as 59.7%, so it's not exactly well below the 60% mark, but it is a concerning trend for the company. On Android, Google is the search engine hard-coded into the OS itself; if someone wants to use a competing engine, they'd be required to open a browser and then go to their search... Read more...
Qualcomm managed to negotiate its way out of paying the full amount of what could have been a $1.6 billion fine in China over antitrust violations. Instead, China's National Development and Reform Commission imposed a record fine of $975 million, a figure Qualcomm agreed not to contest even though it's "disappointed" with how the investigation turned out. At the same time, Qualcomm said it's happy to have it done and over with. As part of the settlement, Qualcomm agreed to a number of terms and conditions mostly related to how it licenses technologies to companies in China. For example, Qualcomm... Read more...
Following a 14-month investigation into potential antitrust violations, Chinese regulators could fine U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm over 10 billion yuan, or $1.6 billion in U.S. currency. It would rank as China's largest antitrust penalty ever, though regulators and Qualcomm have been in discussions the past week and may reach a deal that would reduce the fine to $1 billion.According to Reuters, part of the deal includes Qualcomm taking a lower royalty rate on patents used in China -- it would reduce the amount by about a third of what it current takes. Qualcomm would also agree to change its licensing... Read more...
A case against Apple regarding antitrust violations for the company’s iPod restrictions has been going on for roughly a decade. However, the case was finally closed today when the jury unanimously voted to clear Apple of the charges.  Plaintiffs, representing a group of consumers who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, claimed that Apple had forced its users into iTunes software and locked out competitors. During that time period, the plaintiffs claimed that Apple had deleted songs from rival competitors and went on to use email correspondence from Steve Jobs to... Read more...
As Steve Jobs’ emails are being used against Apple in an antitrust lawsuit, the company is also being accused of deleting songs from consumers’ iPods that were purchased from rival music services between 2007 and 2009. During a court session at the U.S District Court in Oakland, California, Apple confirmed that it had deleted non-iTunes music but argued that it was a legitimate security measure. During this time period, consumers who tried to sync their iPods, which had non-iTunes music on it to their iTunes library, would receive an error message that would instruct them to restore their device... Read more...
Tensions are high between the Chinese government and Microsoft right now, with the former banning the latter's Windows 8 software for government use. Taking it a step further, China is said to be building its own operating system, which it hopes to have ready by October. On top of all that, China's been investigating Microsoft over antitrust allegations, and we've now learned that it's Microsoft's browser and media player bundling that are of issue. Citing what Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce told reporters during a briefing in Beijing this week, Reuters... Read more...
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued a warning to Microsoft not to interfere with its anti-trust investigation of the software maker. The warning comes after China made a series of surprise visits to several Microsoft offices in China, including ones in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. The SAIC announced it was formally investigating Microsoft last week over anti-trust concerns, and on Monday, Microsoft lawyer Deputy General Counsel Mary Snapp was at the regulator's offices being questioned, Reuters reports. "Microsoft promised to respect Chinese law and... Read more...
Google may have more money than it knows what to do with, but that doesn't mean it's willing to pay a potential $5 billion fine without putting up a fight. That's the upper amount the Mountain View company faces as European Union regulators continue their antitrust probe into how Google operates its search services. In an attempt to settle the nearly three-year-old case, Google issued a new set of concessions, which are currently being looked at, the European Commission confirmed on Monday. "We received new proposals from Google in the previous week," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia... Read more...
There's being late, and then there's this. Intel has just appealed a record-setting $1.45 billion antitrust fine that it was hit with a little while back. And when we say "little while," we mean "2009." Three years later, the company is fighting back. Over in Europe, the company recently bucked back in a bid to have the fine overturned. The story is this: the European Commission nailed Intel in '09 for "hindering AMD" after an 8-year investigation. It was the biggest fine ever placed on a single company, and now a panel of five judges at the General Court in Luxembourg will hear arguments from... Read more...
According to Korean news sources, 11 people, including one prominent former Samsung engineer, have been arrested for allegedly selling secrets to one of Samsung's rival firms. The report states that a 46-year-old former SMD researcher, whose name is being withheld, was paid ~$170,000 "from the competitor in exchange for secret data on the so-called "small mask scanning" technology involved in building active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays for large televisions. Until now, AMOLED displays have mostly been used for small smart devices." The complaint indicates that the researcher... Read more...
HP and Oracle have been slugging it out in court over the future of Intel's Itanium for months now. HP has just widened the front by asking the EU to investigate whether Oracle acted improperly when it terminated support for Intel's Itanium. HP claims that Oracle is improperly leveraging its software market to compel purchases of its own hardware, while Oracle maintains that Itanium is essentially a zombie chip. Just the Facts HP sued Oracle after the software company announced it would stop building software for Itanium. According to Bill Wohl, HP's chief communications officer, the two companies... Read more...
When the Department of Justice and Microsoft hammered out the terms of their agreement in 2001, one of the strictures was that the software giant would be subject to official DOJ oversight for a period of five years. In 2006, the DoJ opted to extend the term another five years, but the government body won't be doing the same thing again. On May 12, Microsoft will no longer be subject to special federal oversight. Analysts anticipate we'll see Microsoft making some bolder moves as a result, though no one anticipates a return to the old days. Rob Enderle, principle analyst at Enderle Group, told... Read more...
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