Thursday, March 29, 2012

US Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust conducted a hearing on Wednesday investigating Verizon’s proposed acquisition of a substantial amount of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner and Brighthouse

By Paul Goodwin, JD Candidate 

The US Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust conducted a hearing on Wednesday investigating Verizon’s proposed acquisition of a substantial amount of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner and Brighthouse telecommunication companies. These companies agreed to sell Verizon $3.6 billion worth of wireless spectrum.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cisco brings Microsoft/Skype merger to court

By Till Patrik Holterhus, MLE.

As covered earlier on the Berkeley Global Antitrust Blog on October 7th, 2011 the European Commission cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, determining that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part therein.

On February 15th, 2012 this issue took a new and interesting turn. The technology giant Cisco brought an action against the European Commission’s decision in front of the General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance), pointing out that the European Commission’s decisions violates their freedom of competition by not adequately taking into account all the anti competitive effects of the planned merger and asking the Court to annul the decision.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“Honor your commitments” - The patent gatekeeping problem after antitrust regulators in the United States and the European Union cleared Google’s acquisition of Motorola’s patent pool (Article)

By Norma Cerros, Attorney at law

On February 13, 2012, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the Division) announced its decision to close its investigations in connection with:


   1. Google Inc.’s (Google) acquisition of 17,000 patents and 6,800 applications (including hundreds of standard essential patents (SEPs) relevant to wireless devices) from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (Motorola);


   2. the acquisitions by Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) of approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications including many SEPs relevant to wireless devices from Nortel Networks Corporation (Nortel); and 

    3. the acquisition by Apple of certain Novell Inc. patents.

As the Division has stated, “all three of the transactions highlight the complex intersection of intellectual property rights and antitrust law and the need to determine the correct balance between the rightful exercise of patent rights and a patent holder’s incentive and ability to harm competition through the anticompetitive use of those rights”.