European Commission rules Google's Motorola Mobility broke law, no fine forthcoming

Despite ruling that Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google, abused market position and broke European Union law over patent issues, there will be no fine.

The European Commission said that Motorola Mobility unfairly tried to control the market by refusing to license technology to Apple and then suing when Apple went ahead and used them, reports The Associated Press.

The chief competition authority felt that Motorola Mobility went too far in stifling competition and innovation. "We are trying to strike the right balance" in regards to competition and patent rights, Joaquin Almunia said. "The Motorola case set up the framework we think should be followed."

According to The New York Times, the European Commission hopes to use the ruling to create a set of rules over preventing antitrust moves by refusing to license out integral patents to competitors.

Antitrust regulators are worried about how easy it is to keep competitors' products from hitting shelves by slapping them with an injunction, when a situation instead should be solved by negotiating a price for licenses.

Almunia said, "The so-called smartphone patent wars should not occur at the expense of consumers. This is why all industry players must comply with the competition rules."

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