Samsung may need to offer more to settle patent dispute: Almunia

By Foo Yun Chee

PARIS (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will likely need to do more to settle an investigation over whether its use of patent lawsuits against Apple Inc breached EU rules, the EU antitrust chief said on Monday.

World No. 1 smartphone maker Samsung said in September that it would not seek take competitors to court over patent disputes over the next five years.

It also offered to discuss licensing fees with rivals over a one-year period and to let a court or an arbitrator decide on the issue in the event of disagreement. The European Commission subsequently sought feedback from competitors.

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia suggested rivals were less than happy with Samsung's offer.

"We will take account of the feedback when we discuss with Samsung possible improvements to their commitments in the coming weeks," Almunia told a patent conference organized by Premier Cercle. He did not provide details.

Samsung and Apple are battling each other in courts in more than 10 countries as they vie for control of the lucrative mobile market. Samsung's mobile devices unit accounts for about two-thirds of the group's total profit.

Samsung could face a fine as much as $18.3 billion or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue if it fails to ease EU regulatory concerns.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Writing by Martin Santa; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and David Holmes)

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