Antitrust Authorities Probing Patent ‘Trolls’


U.S. antitrust authorities are examining whether specialized patent-holding firms — or “trolls” to their detractors — are disrupting competition in high-tech markets, opening a new front in a long-standing Silicon Valley battle. The Justice Department and its fellow antitrust enforcer, the Federal Trade Commission, say they are inviting parties with a stake in the matter to informal hearings next month in Washington, where tech companies are expected to encourage tougher scrutiny of what they describe as a threat to innovation.

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