By msnbc.com staff
Microsoft has made a formal complaint to the European Union’s competition regulator against Motorola Mobility and Google.
Microsoft is arguing that Motorola’s aggressive enforcement of patent rights against rivals breaks competition rules. The complaint follows a similar one by Apple against Motorola last week.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and Comcast’s NBC Universal unit.)
With Motorola in the process of being taken over by Google for $12.5 billion, Microsoft is concerned that Google will continue Motorola’s tight control over its key patents.
Apple, Microsoft and Motorola have engaged in a legal fight in Europe over Motorola’s claims that the tech giants are using its patents without permission. In their defense, Apple and Microsoft argue that Motorola is overcharging for the use of the patents, which cover technologies necessary for connecting to the Internet wirelessly and stream online video.
“We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products,” Microsoft’s General Counsel Dave Heiner said Wednesday in a blog post titled “Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web.”
“You probably take for granted that you can view videos on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or DVD/Blu-ray player and connect to the Internet without being tied to a cable,” he continued.
Technology industry players, including Motorola, agreed to the common technical standards for video and Wi-Fi and agreed to make their patents available for free and reasonable terms, he added.
“Motorola has broken its promise,” Heiner wrote. “Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn’t seem to be willing to change course.”