AOM’s video licensing scheme no longer under EU antitrust scrutiny 2023

The Alliance for Open Media (AOM), whose members include Alphabet (GOOGL.O) subsidiary Google, Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), and Meta, avoided a potential sanction on Tuesday after EU antitrust regulators concluded an investigation into its video licensing policy.

Since last year, the European Commission, the competition enforcer for the 27-nation bloc, has been investigating alleged anti-competitive behavior related to the licensing terms of AOM’s new streaming standard software, AV1.

“The Commission resolved to terminate the investigation due to competing priorities. The closure is not a finding of compliance or noncompliance of the conduct in question with EU competition regulations, according to an email from a spokesperson for the EU executive.

“The Commission will continue to monitor competition-related issues associated with standard essential patents that have a significant impact on the EU market.”

Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) applauded the action.

“Royalty-free licensing is a cornerstone of technological standards and the open internet, fostering innovation, choice, and competition in the interest of businesses and consumers in the European Union and around the world,” said AOM in a statement.

Netflix (NFLX.O) and YouTube, as well as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, use AV1, an open, royalty-free video coding software designed for video transmission over the internet.

Netflix, Broadcom (AVGO.O), Cisco (CSCO.O), Tencent (0700.HK), Intel (INTC.O), Huawei (HWT.UL), Mozilla, Samsung (005930.KS), and Nvidia (NVDA.O) are additional AOM participants.

Infractions of EU antitrust laws can result in penalties of up to 10% of a company’s global revenue.

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