As a follow-up to our previous article about Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) preemptively criticizing expected U.S. antitrust actions against Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), we note that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now announced that it has reached an agreement with Google over its antitrust investigation.
While FTC in its announcement highlighted what it said were agreements by Google to change some of its business practices, as a practical matter the announcement confirmed Microsoft’s worst fears of light treatment.
One issue might hurt Google somewhat. Google has now signed a consent decree requiring it to license patents that are integral to agreed industry standards (referred to as “standards-essential patents”, or “SEPs”) at reasonable rates. This could affect the value of Google’s recent $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. Motorola has numerous patents critical to such devices smartphones, laptops, tablet computers and gaming consoles.
Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel has issued a follow-up posting very critical of the agreement.
Google is still subject to antitrust actions by the European Union and possibly by some other agencies in the U.S.