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Samsung still faces EU antitrust charges, says official

Dropping its anti-Apple injunction requests didn't distract regulators

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Samsung may have dropped its injunction requests against Apple in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, but that move won't stop the EU from pursuing antitrust charges against the South Korean electronics giant.

"We will adopt a statement of objections very soon," the EU's top antitrust official Joaquín Almunia told The Financial Times, referring to the next move in the EU's accusations against Samsung for allegedly violating antitrust rules by witholding access to some of its technology from its competitors.

"We are very happy if these [requested] injunctions are withdrawn," Almunia said, "but we will continue to investigate the possible abuses that existed ... in the past."

This Tuesday, Samsung withdrew its requests that Apple be barred from selling its iPhone and iPads in the five European countries listed above. The previous day, a San Francisco judge had denied the company's request for a new trial in the lawsuit that netted Apple a cool $1.05bn in damages over patent infringement; the same judge also denied Apple's request to stop Samsung from selling some of their phones in the US.

But despite Samsung throwing the overworked EU patent deciders a bone by withdrawing its injunction requests, a Samsung spokesman also let the world know that "Samsung did not withdraw its lawsuits in Europe; the lawsuits are very much in place."

Whether or not the continuance of those lawsuits affected Almunia's decision-making is not known. Neither is the date for the official statement of objections in the antitrust matter. "I don't know if [the statement will be made] before the end of this year or the beginning of next year because we are in the last step of our internal procedures," he told The Financial Times. ®

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