FTC Finalizes Settlement in Google Motorola Mobility Case

Agency Makes Technical Modifications to Final Order in Response to Public Comments

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission approved a modified Final Order settling charges that some of Google Inc.’s business practices could stifle competition among manufacturers of electronic devices.

The Final Order requires Google to abide by its commitments to license its standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory or FRAND terms. These standard-essential patents are needed to make popular devices such as smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming consoles.  The agency alleged that Google had reneged on these commitments and pursued – or threatened to pursue – injunctions and exclusion orders against companies that need to use standard-essential patents held by Google’s subsidiary, Motorola Mobility LLC (MMI), in their devices and were willing to license these patents on FRAND terms.

After considering the 25 public comments that were submitted, the FTC made technical modifications to several provisions in the Order, including those pertaining to the arbitration process established to resolve disputes over FRAND terms.  In a letter sent to the commenters, the agency also provided further explanation for the basis and the rationale behind several other provisions in the Google-MMI Order.

The Commission vote approving the final order and the letter was 2-1-1, with Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen voting no and Commissioner Joshua D. Wright recused.

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