Ericsson under anti-trust radar in India following Micromax complaints

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Swedish Telecom gear leader, Ericsson, is facing an investigation from Competition Commission of India (CCI) following a complaint by handset maker Micromax for allegedly using its dominant position in charging higher royalty on GSM technology patents from several cell phone makers.

CCI, India’s fair trade watchdog, after finding prima-facie evidence of LM Ericsson indulging in some kind of unfair trade practices has ordered investigation into the matter.

CCI in its order said, it is a “fit case for through investigation by the Director General into the allegations made by the informant (Micromax), and violations, if any, of the provisions of the Competition Act”.

The Commission noted that with no other alternate technology in the market same as Ericson, the telecom company “enjoys complete dominance over its present and prospective licensees in the relevant product market.”

It is prima facie apparent that with 33,000 patents to its credit, including 400 of these granted in India, Ericson is the largest holder of SEPs (Standard Essential Patents) for mobile communications technologies like 2G as well as 3G and 4G, used mainly used for smartphones and tablets.

Ericsson had sued Micromax for patent infringement in March 2013 and the Indian handset maker responded by filing a complaint to the CCI, Ericsson said. A document appearing on the CCI’s website read that the Commission is investigating whether Ericsson charges Micromax too much in royalties to use its patents.