Daimler asks EU antitrust regulators to probe Nokia patents

FILE PHOTO: The first all-electric Mercedes car EQC is seen at a presentation in Stockholm, Sweden, September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Esha Vaish/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German carmaker Daimler has filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators over Nokia patents are essential to the auto communications, a movement in which the tensions between tech companies and the automotive industry on the use of technologies.

Tech companies and mobile telecom providers are playing an increasingly important role in the auto industry with their technologies used in navigation systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and self-driving cars.

Daimler has not responded to a request for comment sent during out-of-office-hours. The European Commission confirmed the receipt of Daimler’s complaint.

“The Commission has received a complaint by Daimler at Nokia and we are using the assessment”, spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an e-mail.

Nokia said Daimler was looking to side-step the taking of a license.

“Although we offer a wide range of options for the car manufacturers, amongst others through their tier 1 suppliers, Daimler has resisted taking a license for Nokia’s inventions is already in use,” Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said.

“Daimler’s allegations in its complaint to the EU are just the latest in a long series of actions to prevent the taking of a license,” he said.

Nokia has a very profitable patents business, a legacy of its history as the leading mobile phone maker.

Patent disputes between Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and others have led to mutual lawsuits in the world in the past ten years, with analysts saying that the patent war was the next step in the auto-industry.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jan Harvey

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