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EU drops Qualcomm antitrust probe

Tue, 11/24/2009 - 7:05am
The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union antitrust regulators on Tuesday dropped a two-year monopoly abuse probe into wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc., saying they have to focus their priorities elsewhere.

The European Commission said the companies that had complained about the royalty fees San Diego-based Qualcomm charged for key third-generation cell phone patents are now withdrawing their allegations.

Broadcom Corp., NEC Corp., Nokia Corp., LM Ericsson, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments Inc. had claimed that Qualcomm broke agreements among patent holders to keep costs at reasonable levels.

The EU's executive said it was still concerned about how technology was priced after it was adopted as an industry standard but could not commit the time or resources to "complex" assessments.

"Any antitrust enforcer has to be careful about overturning commercial agreements," it said in a statement. "The commission does not consider it appropriate to invest further resources in this case."

More Broadband Direct 11/24/09:
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•  EU drops Qualcomm antitrust probe
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