Tech wrap: ITC joins Apple-Samsung spat
The International Trade Commission agreed to investigate Apple’s complaint that mobile phones and tablets made by rival Samsung violate its technology intellectual property. The intensifying patent dispute threatens to strain a lucrative supply relationship: Apple in 2010 was Samsung’s second-largest customer, accounting for $5.7 billion of sales tied mainly to semiconductors, according to the Asian consumer electronics company’s annual report.
Google faces a total of nine antitrust complaints which EU regulators are now investigating, two sources said. Up to now, The European Commission has only confirmed four cases against Google. The increased number of complaints underscores Google’s dominant position but does not necessarily mean bad news for the company, said Simon Holmes, head of EU and competition law at law firm SJ Berwin.
“Google’s strong position means there are lots of interests involved. But there is nothing wrong per se in having a strong position,” he said.
Broadband speeds on average are within 80 percent of what major Internet service providers advertise, a big improvement from two years ago, according to an FCC study. I suggest that the study, while attempting to arm consumers with a comparison tool in order to make more informed choices, masks regional disparities in broadband speeds that were brought to light last week.
For an extra $25 per year, fans of Electronic Arts sports titles will be able to download video games three days before they hit stores, a move that should boost EA’s digital sales. EA’s new program called “Season Ticket” will let consumers get access to five sports games–its soccer, golf, hockey, pro-football and college football titles. Users will be able to download the games over the Internet on Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony Corp PlayStation systems three days before they are out in stores.
Russia’s interior minister called for limits on the Internet to prevent a slide in traditional cultural values among young people, raising fears of controls over the vibrant Russian-language Web. Rashid Nurgaliyev, who did not indicate which sites he felt should be curbed, said that Russia’s youth needed looking after to prevent young people from being corrupted by “lopsided” ideas, especially in music, that may undermine traditional values.