Samsung is reportedly holding talks with the EU regulator to settle charges that it abused its market position by barring arch-rival Apple from using an essential mobile phone patent.
A Reuters report, quoting two people familiar with the matter, said on June 25 the talks came after the European Commission, which acts as EU competition regulator, told Samsung in December it was acting unfairly by seeking injunctions against Apple over use of the essential patents. Samsung and Apple, the world's top two smartphone makers by volume and sales, are locked in patent disputes in at least 10 countries.
Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now and wants to settle, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified, Reuters reported. The sources said it was still too early to say if the discussions would result in a settlement. A fine could reach as much as $US17.3 billion if the South Korean firm is found to be in breach of EU laws.
The European Commission declined to comment. Its case against Samsung centres on essential patents for the European Union's 3G UMTS standard. The firm pledged to license its patents on fair terms to rivals when the standard was adopted in Europe.
Samsung came under regulatory fire last year when it began seeking injunctions in various EU countries in 2011 against Apple's use of these patents. Samsung was not immediately available for comment, according to the Reuters report in the UK Daily Telegraph.