Euronews: EC Probes Samsung on Patents

In today's EMEA roundup: Brussels thinks Samsung may have 'distorted' markets through patents abuse; Euro roaming fees to go even lower?

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

February 1, 2012

2 Min Read
Euronews: EC Probes Samsung on Patents

Samsung Corp. , the European Commission and Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX) dominate proceedings in today's canter through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Samsung has used its patent rights to "distort competition in European mobile device markets" in breach of EC rules. Specifically, Brussels will be examining whether Samsung has failed to meet its obligations relating to the licensing of standards on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms. Samsung has been embroiled in a long-running patents spat with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), the latest round of which saw Samsung fail to overturn a ban on sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Germany. (See EC Investigates Samsung Over Patents and EC Hints at Smartphone Patent Probe .)

  • Also on the Brussels beat, Reuters reports that the EU Parliament wants roaming fees -- charges incurred when a mobile user calls from outside his or her native country -- to be cut to levels substantially lower than those recommended last year by Neelie Kroes, the EC's vice president for the Digital Agenda. Under the proposals, the charge for a one-minute outgoing call when abroad would be 15 cents compared with 24 cents under the Kroes plan, while data costs would plummet to 20 cents per megabyte, down from 50 cents. (See Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market , Euronews: EC's Kroes on the Warpath (Again) and EC Combats Data Roaming Bill Shock.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent has formally closed the sale of its Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc. Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) business to private equity firm Permira for $1.5 billion. (See AlcaLu Closes Genesys Sale, Euronews: AlcaLu Offloads Genesys and Euronews: AlcaLu Struggles to Sell Enterprise Biz.)

  • Hungary's mobile market is to get a fourth provider in the shape of a state-backed consortium, reports Reuters. The group, which includes a state-owned electricity firm and bank, paid 10 billion forints ($44 million) for three 900MHz frequency blocks. The entire Hungarian telecom industry has been laboring under a "Robin Hood" tax that was imposed on it (and on the energy and retail sectors) in 2010 by the ruling Fidesz party. (See Euronews: Oct. 18.)

  • German chipmaker Infineon reported net income down from €125 million ($164 million) in the fourth quarter of the previous financial year to €96 million ($126 million) in the latest quarter. Its revenues were down too. Infineon sold its wireless chip business to Intel in 2010. (See Infineon Reports Lower Net Income in Q1 and Intel 's LTE Bonus .)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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