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Google goes after Microsoft and Nokia, files antitrust complaint

May 31, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez | This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
  • Google has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia, alleging they are using patents to hurt Google's Android business.
Google has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia, alleging… (Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty…)

Google has filed an antitrust complaint against two of its competitors in the smartphone market, alleging Microsoft and Nokia are using patents to hurt its Android business.

The complaint, which was filed with the European Commission, alleges that Nokia and Microsoft are partnering with other companies to enforce their patents related to smartphones and split the resulting revenue.

Google, which said it acted preemptively, said that threat poses a risk for its Android partners and could force them to jump ship to Windows Phone instead, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The search company said it sent a copy of its complaint to officials at the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. as well.

"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made," a Google spokesman said. "They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

[Updated, 7:50 p.m. May 31: Though initially Microsoft chose not to provide comment as it had not seen Google's complaint, the company later sent a response, criticizing Google's move.

"Google is complaining about patents when it won’t respond to growing concerns by regulators, elected officials and judges about its abuse of standard-essential patents, and it is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95% of mobile search and advertising," the company said in an email statement. "This seems like a desperate tactic on their part."]

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