Regulators launch new probe against Qualcomm

The European Commission says it will push ahead with an investigation into Qualcomm's 3G licensing fees.

It announced that it would give priority to a complaint filed two years ago that Qualcomm's W-CDMA prices were excessive and in breach of an agreement to keep them at reasonable levels.

The complaint was filed jointly by Ericsson, Nokia, NEC, Panasonic, Texas Instruments and Broadcom in 2005.

The EC said that in taking up proceedings now it would examine whether licensing terms and royalties are 'fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory'. The move comes just two weeks after the commission won one of its biggest ever anti-trust victories over Microsoft.

Qualcomm president Steve Altman said Qualcomm had met all its commitments to offer licenses on fair and reasonable terms and that as a result European consumers were benefiting from 'greater competition, rapidly declining WCDMA handset prices and more handset choices and features.'