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European Commission’s continuing investigation of Qualcomm is welcomed


Broadcom, Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments welcome the continuation of the investigation by the European Commission into complaints regarding anti-competitive practices by Qualcomm. While each company has made an individual complaint, they share concerns about Qualcomm’s practices. The companies believe that these practices are harmful to the mobile telecommunications industry globally and, in particular undermine confidence in standards-setting processes, threaten the supply of WCDMA chipsets, impede innovation, and raise the costs of third-generation (3G) technology and handsets. As a result, carriers and consumers face higher prices and fewer choices.

The complaints refer to Qualcomm’s breach of European Union (EU) competition law and failure to meet the commitments it made to international standard-setting organisations that it would license its declared essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Without these commitments, WCDMA technology would not have been commercially implemented as part of the UMTS 3G standard in Europe and elsewhere. The companies alleged that Qualcomm has violated EU competition rules by charging disproportionate and discriminatory royalties for its declared WCDMA essential patents. They also stated that Qualcomm violates those rules by trying to exclude competing manufacturers of chipsets for mobile phones from the market and to prevent others from entering. These actions, in addition to breaching the European Union’s competition law, are in breach of Qualcomm’s commitments to standard-setting bodies.

The Commission has decided to allocate priority to the continuing investigation following the lodging of the complaints in October 2005. The companies welcome this decision and confirm their continued cooperation with the European Commission.


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