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FTC Commissioner Sees Role for Antitrust on Essential Patents

Oct. 29, 2021, 9:33 PM

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should investigate antitrust violations related to patents essential to industry standards, and bring cases against companies that try to undermine competitive safeguards, Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter said.

Companies can obtain potentially significant market power when their patents are included in industry standards. The way they exercise that power isn’t immunized from antitrust law just because patents are involved, Slaughter said at a meeting of the American National Standards Institute.

“My topline message is that the antitrust laws have an important role to play in the standard-setting context, including conduct related to the use or abuse of” ...