According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is considering settling with the FTC over a patent dispute involving FRAND patents
. The Mountain View tech titan refused to license industry essential patents to mobile device manufacturers and also used the patents to seek injunctions. The FTC had started investigating Google after the latter purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion
as a way to expand its intellectual portfolio. During discussions with the FTC, the agency threatened to bring a case against Google for unfair business practices and discussed a number of cases where Google might have violated FRAND regulations.
Google, in response, discussed that a number of its competitors with FRAND patents failed to live up to their obligations and ended up filing suit against Google's wholly owned subsidiary Motorola. Google is worried that if it reaches a settlement over its FRAND patents, its competitors will remain free to take Google to court using their FRAND patents.
The main issue is that Google refused to license these patents even though it is required to accept a fair price to license them to the competition. Instead, Google would seek a court order to ban sales of competitor's products. The FTC is considering bringing action against Google under Section 5 of the FCC Act which covers unfair or deceptive business practices. The Feds argue that Google is using Motorola's patents as a weapon
against companies like Microsoft and Apple. if Google settles the dispute, it would put an end to the investigation.