Valeo and Continental want the EU to take action against Nokia



BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The French automotive supplier Valeo and its German rival Continental have filed a complaint against Nokia with the European Commission to denounce the Finnish group's practices in the field of patents relating to communication technologies incorporated in automobiles.

The two groups follow in the footsteps of Daimler and Bury Technologies, who last month seized European competition authorities for the same reason.

These complaints illustrate the differences between the technology giants and the automotive industry with respect to the license requirements for the use of essential navigation systems, communication between vehicles and an increasingly independent driving.

Nokia was notified of the complaints from Bury, Continental and Valeo, at the same time as the European Commission notified Daimler's company, a spokesman for the Finnish group said.

"The reason for this complaint is that we believe Nokia has adopted unfair licensing practices for its so-called essential patents," Continental said in a statement.

Companies that own these patents must offer them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

"Valeo confirms having submitted a complaint to the European Commission against Nokia on the basis of the abuse of a dominant position," a Valeo spokeswoman said.

Nokia, which still has a very lucrative patent portfolio inherited from the time it was the world's number one in the mobile phone industry, said it had started talks in 2015 with automakers and their suppliers about the use of these patents.

(Foo Yun Chee, Benoit Van Overstraeten for the French service, edited by Gilles Guillaume)

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