EU antitrust regulators are investigating the video licensing policy of the Alliance for Open up Media (AOM), whose users contain Alphabet device Google, Amazon, Apple and Meta, the European Fee explained on Thursday.
Founded in 2015, the group aims to develop a new conventional software package for streaming better-high-quality 4K movie on browsers, products, applications, and gaming, regarded as AV1.
In a questionnaire sent to some providers previously this yr and observed by Reuters, the EU watchdog explained it was investigating alleged anti-competitive behaviour linked to the license terms of AV1 by AOM and its users in Europe.
It claimed this action may possibly be proscribing the innovators’ capability to compete with the AV1 technical specification, and also do away with incentives for them to innovate.
The questionnaire also requested about the impact of an AOM patent license clause in which licensees would have their patent licenses terminated quickly if they introduced patent lawsuits asserting that implementation infringes their claims.
“The Fee has information and facts that AOM and its users might be imposing licensing conditions (obligatory royalty-free of charge cross licensing) on innovators that had been not a aspect of AOM at the time of the development of the AV1 specialized, but whose patents are deemed critical to (its) technical requirements,” the paper stated.
“The Fee confirms that it has a preliminary investigation ongoing into AOM’s licensing coverage,” a spokesperson for the EU govt informed Reuters.
“The fact that the Fee has a preliminary investigation does not prejudge the end result of the investigation on the existence of an infringement,” the spokesperson claimed, without giving further more particulars.
AOM did not straight away respond to an emailed request for remark.
Although the AV1 software program is not nevertheless adopted widely, Netflix and YouTube have begun utilizing it for some prospects, and browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox have started off to assistance the new structure.
Apple and Google did not right away answer to an emailed request for comment. Meta and Amazon declined to comment. Microsoft, Netflix, Broadcom, Cisco and Tencent, who are also AOM users, did not quickly react to emailed requests for remark.
Intel, Huawei, Mozilla, Samsung and Nvidia are also AOM users, according to its website.
Businesses risk fines of up to 10 % of their world-wide turnover for breaching EU antitrust procedures.