Europe Drops Four-Year Antitrust Probe Into Qualcomm

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The European Commission is not taking any action against Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) and has stopped investigating the chipmaker after four looking into the company’s pricing policies for four years, the WSJ reports.

The commission said it dropped the case after the companies that had filed complaints against Qualcomm withdrew their objections. While the commission can continue to look into the company without any complaints, they said it wouldn’t be “appropriate to invest further resources in this case.”

The probe stretches back to 2005 when six companies, Broadcom, Telefon, Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC), NEC, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Panasonic and Texas Instruments told the commission that Qualcomm’s royalty fees were excessive and that its tactics have kept other companies from entering the market for mobile-phone chips. Indeed, San Diego-based Qualcomm has long been accused of charging excessive fees based on the number of patents it holds, and then offering chip prices competitors can’t match.

The commission’s investigation ends after Ericsson and NEC said they were withdrawing their complaints and after Qualcomm inked settlements with Nokia and Broadcom.

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