That's right, after both Apple and Microsoft submitted complaints to the European Commission it is now officially launching not one, but two formal investigations into Motorola.
Of course, Motorola Mobility is claiming that they have done no wrong, as noted by the BBC, with Motorola stating:
"Motorola Mobility is confident that a thorough investigation will demonstrate that it has honored its Frand obligations and complied with anti-trust laws..."
Well, we're about to find out if that is the case or not. However, how long that will take is anybodies guess at this point. Even though I, personally, find the evidence to be overly stacked against Motorola they are, of course, under the law, completely innocent until found otherwise guilty.
What is really interesting is that Motorola Mobility's investigation comes not that long after the E.U. had already formally begun an investigation against another Android OEM, Samsung, for its alleged miss use of its FRAND patents. What we are seeing here is a legal process that if, Samsung or Motorola are found to be guilty, could end up being a major blow against the entire Android platform overall. I'm not sure if being found guilty would kill Android off, but I certainly do believe it would go a long way in crippling it, and that thought has got to hurt Google and its Android partners quite considerably.
Getting back to Motorola, as you can see in FossPatent's chart below, Motorola is being anything but fair when it comes to the licensing of its FRAND patents, and especially so in regards to Microsoft and Apple, by demanding a royalty rate that goes far above anything that is anything but reasonable, or fair and non discriminatory.
Microsoft, for instance, now pays some $6.5 million annually to license over some 2,339 patents, which I also believe includes some 50 from Motorola, regarding wireless and video encoding tech. However, Motorola wants to increase its royalty rate on its 50 patents to what would end up seeing Microsoft paying out a staggering $ 4 billion annually to Motorola alone, and just for those very same, and very few patents.... that's over 600 times as much as it presently does now!
As bad as that may sound, the really bad news for Microsoft, and really, when you think about it, for everyone else... consumers included, would be that every other patent holder would end up demanding to get the same type of payout as Motorola's, thus pushing up the cost of Microsoft's products to the point that they would be virtually priced out of the market! I've read somewhere, I believe, that if Motorola were to actually get what it wanted it would mean that the cost for an iPhone, for example, would jump from around $600 per phone to something more along the lines of a whopping $160,000 plus per phone!
Now that is what I call not only unfair, unreasonable and totally discriminatory, but utterly and totally insane!
In conclusion, if what I've been reading is to believe, than it's time that Motorola, Google and Samsung where investigated vigorously, and if found guilty, that they are vigorously dealt with with the same degree of extremism that they sought to inflict on Apple, Microsoft and others. If Google thinks that it can get away with this, well, Herr Mueller, the world's most quoted patent expert, stated:
"Google is already being investigated by the European Commission for suspicions of abuse of its dominant positions in search and online advertising. Now its $12.5 billion acquisition target Motorola Mobility is being investigated, and if and when Google closes the deal, it will effectively buy itself into two more EU antitrust investigations. It's time for some people in Mountain View to realize that a multi-front war against competition authorities, on three continents in parallel, is a war that they won't be able to win."
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Opening European Commision logo via: Technofierce.com