Microsoft Sues Motorola, T-Mobile Blocks Verizon’s Monopoly Play

Though the Google-Motorola deal is still awaiting the approval of regulators from China, Taiwan and Israel, the pending merger is already faced with a lawsuit.  Microsoft filed a complaint against Google to the European Commission accusing the search giant and Motorola of making their patents too expensive.

The announcement was made by Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group Dave Heiner in his blog post “Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web.”  Below is an excerpt of Heiner’s post detailing how Google intends to kill video on the web.

Earlier today, Microsoft filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Motorola Mobility and Google. We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products. Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards.

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. That works because the industry came together years ago to define common technical standards that every firm can use to build compatible products for video and Wi-Fi. Motorola and all the other firms that contributed to these standards also made a promise to one another: that if they had any patents essential to the standards, they would make their patents available on fair and reasonable terms, and would not use them to block competitors from shipping their products.

Motorola has broken its promise. 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.

In legal proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft take its products off the market, or else remove their standards-based ability to play video and connect wirelessly. The only basis for these actions is that these products implement industry standards, on which Motorola claims patents. Yet when the industry adopted these standards, we all were counting on Motorola and every contributor to live up to their promises. Watching video on the Web is one of the primary uses of computers these days. And we’ve all grown accustomed to “anytime, anywhere” access to the Internet, often made possible by the Wi-Fi standard. Imagine what a step back it would be if we could no longer watch videos on our computing devices or connect via Wi-Fi, or if only some products, but not others, had these capabilities. That would defeat the whole purpose of an industry standard.

T-Mobile To Block Verizon’s Plan

In other mobile legal warfare, we have another defensive move between carriers.  Most of us are aware that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile went to the dogs as they gave up when scrutiny over the deal seemed unending.  AT&T suffered a major loss because of this, not only for their LTE plans but financially as well, since they had to pay a $4 billion breakup fee to T-Mobile.

If you think that T-mobile is sulking in some corner, you are sadly mistaken.  Their eyes are peeled, waiting to attack, waiting to get back in the game.  And it seems like the time has come for retaliation.

T-Mobile is urging the Federal Communications Commission in filing to block the $3.9 billion deal between Verizon Wireless, Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Bright House Networks and Cox Communications.  Verizon plans on purchasing spectrum from the said cable companies and T-Mobile argures that if the deal comes to fruition, it would give an “excessive concentration” of wireless spectrum to Verizon.

Having more spectrum will enable Verizon to raise download speeds as well as better serve data-hungry devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops etc.  Having such power could lead to monopoly.

T-Mobile isn’t the only one aiming to block the deal. MetroPCS as well as 10 others filed to block the deal as well.  On the other hand, Sprint Nextel was more diplomatic, instead they asked the FCC to thoroughly look at the deal and the implications of it once the deal was approved.