EU to investigate QUALCOMM's licensing practices

Six telecoms have filed antitrust claims with the EU against QUALCOMM that allege the company does not license its 3G patents on fair terms. Broadcom, Nokia, NEC, Ericsson, Texas Instruments and Panasonic Mobile have each filed complaints asking the EU to look into the matter. Some of the allegations include offering lower royalty fees to handset customers that buy QUALCOMM chips exclusively and trying to exclude others from entering the chipset market for mobile phones. The companies also claim that QUALCOMM charges the same rate for its WCDMA 3G handsets as it does for CDMA2000 3G handsets, despite having fewer proprietary technology in the WCDMA offering.

The EU said it will investigate the issues raised against QUALCOMM. If found guilty, the EU would force the company to change its licensing practices and may fine QUALCOMM 10 percent of its annual revenue. Broadcom recently asked a US District Court in New Jersey to investigate QUALCOMM on similar unfair business practices.

For more on the complaints against QUALCOMM:
- see this article from the AP