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Reuters reports that Samsung is currently in preliminary discussions with EU regulators regarding a possible settlement related to charges that it abused its market dominance by blocking Apple from fairly using its essential patents in various ongoing patent disputes:

The talks came after the European Commission, which acts as EU competition regulator, told Samsung in December that it was acting unfairly by seeking injunctions against Apple over use of the essential patents.

“Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now. Samsung wants to settle,” said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

If Samsung does settle in the case, it could avoid as much as $17.3 billion in fines. However, it would presumably have to agree to license its essential patents on fair terms, which could have an impact on current cases related to the European Union’s 3G UMTS standard.