Samsung has initiated a new tactic in the ongoing court dispute related to the violation of its contract with Microsoft, claiming that after the Redmond-based company's acquisition of Nokia's smartphone business, their former partnership with the company should be considered invalid as it could transgress US antitrust law.
According to Reuters, Samsung agreed to pay Microsoft Android patent license fees in 2011, but under the condition that if Samsung were to sell a specific number of Windows Phones, then Microsoft would decrease Android royalty payments. But that obviously didn't happen, with Samsung selling only one major Windows Phone series, the Samsung ATIV S lineup, which did not gain enough traction among consumers.
Samsung previously paid a royalty fee of $1 billion last year as a result of this undertaking, however Microsoft filed the lawsuit earlier this year claiming that Samsung has violated its contract and consequently owned them $6.9 million in back interest.
Samsung is now arguing that since Microsoft acquired Nokia's smartphone division, the company has become a contender to Samsung's own hardware division which subsequently means that Samsung can no longer share confidential information without breaching US antitrust laws.
Samsung stated in it's filing that,
“Before Microsoft’s merger with Nokia DSB, these provisions between Microsoft, an input supplier, and Samsung, a downstream seller, comported with United States antitrust laws, after the Nokia DSB Merger, the agreements, now between competitors, invite charges of collusion. No reasonable business would knowingly undertake the risk of contractually obligating itself to coordinate and collaborate with a competitor—particularly, as here, with respect to setting third-party incentives and controlling the ‘out of box’ experience of a competitor’s products.”
Furthermore, Samsung has not only asked the court to dismiss Microsoft's claims but also to compensate Samsung's damages for "Microsoft's breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing" after the Nokia acquisition.
However Microsoft is still confident of its position in the case with a spokesperson from Redmond saying that “[the company] is confident that our case is strong and that we will be successful.”