An antitrust regulator is investigating whether Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is honoring commitments made to license industry-standard technology for mobile and other devices on fair terms, sources familiar with the situation said.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a civil investigative demand, which is similar to a subpoena, to the owner of the Android mobile operating system as it scrutinizes whether Google is improperly blocking rivals’ access to patents for key smartphone technology, one source said.
The agency also is seeking information from companies including Microsoft Corp. and Apple as it probes whether Google intends to license technology under patents that help operate 3G wireless, Wi-Fi and video streaming on fair and reasonable terms, another source said.
Another focus of the FTC probe, the person said, is Google’s decision to continue litigation started by Motorola Mobility over industry-standard patents after Google bought the company.
Those lawsuits could end up blocking imports of popular consumer products such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.The Associated Press