Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) bought Motorola Mobility earlier this year and has been strongly defending the company’s robust patent portfolio in the wireless and overall digital technology universe. Motorola has quite a few patents that are called “industry standard,” which means they are the patents that help the entire industry – specifically, for example, patents that allow all smartphones to interact with each other and between various wireless carriers. They are patents that help consumers communicate and thus there are supposed to be protections where holders of industry standard patents can be paid a licensing fee in exchange for competing companies to use those patents in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) manner.
But according to the Federal Trade Commission, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not being very fair or reasonable in its dealings with competitors regarding these types of patents, and the group is due to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), perhaps by the end of the year. FTC staff made the recommendation to sue to the entire board of commissioners, and it appears that the majority of the commission is in favor of the recommendation, which was evidenced by an earlier post here where we noted that the FTC had hired an antitrust expert, who is pretty much only hired to give testimony in legal proceedings.
Google Inc. (NASDQ:GOOG) has been investigated on its crusade to impose import bans on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products that infringe on industry-standard patents which Motorola Mobility owns. The investigation began this summer when the FTC sought information about whether Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was offering licenses for technology that allowed Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) to use Motorola’s patents for 3G wireless, wi-fi and video streaming.
Can Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) overcome this issue? Should investors like billionaire fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP be concerned about thi, or is this just “politics” that may go away after the election?