The European Commission has sent a "statement of objections" to Samsung saying that they don't believe the company is acting fairly. "Intellectual property rights are an important cornerstone of the single market. However, such rights should not be misused when they are essential to implement industry standards, which bring huge benefits to businesses and consumers alike," Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in statement.
Samsung can now respond to the statement with objections or with a request for a hearing. Samsung faces a fine up to 10 percent of its annual turnover if the commission rules that they have violated the rules. The issue at hand is standard-essential patents for the EU's 3G UMTS standard.
Samsung agreed to fairly license the needed patents to competitors when the EU adopted the standard. Samsung denies the claims: "Samsung is confident that, in due course, the Commission will conclude that we have acted in compliance with European Union competition laws."
The commission opened the investigation after Samsung attempted to gain sales bans in 2011 across member EU states against its fierce competitor, Apple.