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.