Samsung under European Commission’s Antitrust Scanner

The European Commission has announced that it is looking into Samsung's patent deals in order to find out if the company misused its intellectual property rights for distorting competition in the luscious European mobile market.

According to the commission, the investigation will be specifically targeted at learning whether the South Korea based consumer electronics maker had disobeyed the existing agreement for licensing some key technologies to its competitors.

The move taken by the commission could come as a setback for the company as it is currently fighting against the arch rival Apple Inc. in a series of patent battles on multiple fronts across the continent.

"The inquiry centres on Frand commitments - a promise by industry players to license innovations that are essential to an industry standard on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms," read a BBC News report covering the issue.

The commission is particularly emphasising on the point that Samsung, in 1998, had agreed to acknowledge an "irrevocable commitment" to the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) to abide by the Frand terms

"It is really difficult for Samsung to have the commission wading in when none of its competitors have made a complaint," Vicki Salmon, a prominent member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, explained.