While the Supreme Court passing over the appeal in the Federal Trade Commission’s case against Rambus is disappointing, the Computer & Communications Industry Association is expressing optimism about future antitrust enforcement in the standards setting process. The FTC had alleged that Rambus illegally attempted to monopolize memory markets by urging a standards setting body to adopt technology on which it secretly maintained patents.
The following quote may be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“We regret that this case will not be heard. That being said, it is important to recognize that the Supreme Court has not affirmed the lower court or approved of Rambus’s conduct in this case. There are numerous reasons why the Court may decline to hear a case that have no relation to whether the lower court was correct. This is not in any way a statement that the behavior was proper.
“This appeal was limited to the use of Section 2 of the Sherman Act to pursue abusive practices in standards setting, and in subsequent cases courts may still rule in favor of applying the Sherman Act in these circumstances. Moreover, while the FTC’s particular theory in this case has not prevailed, we remain confident that the Commission and other competition authorities will continue to pursue aggressively attempts to hijack the technology standards setting process.”