Tag: mobile industry news

An FTC and Google agreement opens up mobile industry market

Google mobile industryInternet giant Google has settled with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in regards to its antitrust lawsuit that allows smaller players in the mobile industry access to mobile patents. The move is said to lower the amount of suits related to patent holders.

Google’s hold on patents

Philip Solis, of ABI Research in Oyster Bay, NY, stated that concerns have been raised about Google buying ‘standard essential patents’ from Motorola, essentially giving Google the ability to greatly suppress smaller competition. This settlement states what Google has said all along – that they would not use the patents in such a manner.

“It could start a trend around standard essential patents not being used for offensive purposes,” Solis said. “That is a good thing because it means potentially less litigation.” He goes on to say that bigger companies are not effected by having to work around patents in the mobile industry, but smaller companies lack the resources to do so.

What it means for competitors

Smart phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and even online search advertising are all affected in this settlement. Google will allow competition to license patents on what are called critical standardized technologies for all of the above. When Google acquired Motorola Mobility, it gained hundreds of different patents. Many of these are for most basic functions like device internet connectivity.

Google agrees to allow use of standard patents and thus the number of patent-related lawsuits should drop. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that Google has made a step that allows consumers to enjoy the benefits of competition in the online marketplace as well through the gadgets that they buy.

“This doesn’t remove the patents issue in general,” Solis said. Overall, he believes that this agreement opens up markets in both advertising and the mobile device market. Google has agreed not to use patents to delay other companies from releasing new products in a timely manner. It is not perfect, however.

Online Advertising

Google is known as an online giant in search and also in search related advertising. As part of this agreement, Google will give those that advertise online more flexibility to use their program as well as the advertising programs of their competitors. The company also promises that any site can remain excluded from Google vertical search results while still remaining visible under their standard search.

Mobile payments industry takes massive hit with VeriFone withdrawal

Verifone mobile paymentsThe marketplace is rocked by the shocking news that a major player has dropped out.

The CEO of VeriFone, Doug Bergeron, has stunned the direct-to-micromerchant mobile payments world with the announcement that it is stepping out of that marketplace following unprofitable results from its Sail service.

The point-of sale provider’s mcommerce news came as a surprise to the majority of the industry.

As VeriFone had dedicated a great deal of last year and much of this year on the promotion of the growth of mobile payments services, the decision that the company has now made to remove itself from that direct-to-micromerchant space has caused many heads to spin. The announcement was made during the most recent quarterly conference call.

The CEO released the mobile payments news that the company is stepping down.

During the call, Bergeron stated that Sail, its own mobile payments service, has been unprofitable. This program had been giving small businesses the ability to use smartphones and tablets to accept transactions through debit and credit cards. He said that “Customer acquisition costs, either through search engines or TV advertising, cannot and will never justify the razor thin margins produced by merchants with infrequent volumes and extremely high attrition.”

The NFC technology community has also been left blinking in surprise, as it had been looking toward that company to propel forward its adoption, particularly after the iPhone 5 was released without its capabilities.

Bergeron described the mobile payments program at VeriFone as a failure and is now causing many of the other players in the industry to take a second look at their own potential for profitability. This is particularly the case after the CEO questioned the ability of the environment to be profitable at all. The company has announced that all of its assets from that space will now be sold off.

He explained that he felt it is possible to see similar thoughts among the competition as their businesses models are shifted toward wallets services. It is his belief that the only mobile payments players who will be able to survive “this fundamentally challenging business model” will be those who are capable of offering micro merchants other services, as well.