Feeds

EU stops haranguing Qualcomm

Four-year case shelved indefinitely

The Power of One Infographic

The European Commission has shut down its investigation into Qualcomm's alleged abuse of monopoly, as the complainants got bored and wandered off.

The investigation was triggered by a complaint from Ericsson back in 2005, and was formally launched in October 2007. During the intervening time various other regulatory authorities have ruled against Qualcomm which, Ericsson told Reuters, prompted them to withdraw their complaint to the EU.

Regulators in Japan and South Korea have also been looking at Qualcomm's business practices. They have mainly examined the way the company upsells its products to customers who are obliged to buy CDMA technology from the owner. Those investigations were cited by Ericsson as being factors in the decision to withdraw the EU complaint.

The fact that Qualcomm has settled its differences with Nokia and Broadcom must also be a factor. Both companies had also complained to the EU, and withdrawn their complaints when peace terms were negotiated.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission has been demanding that Qualcomm rewrite its contracts, claiming that customers were forced into licensing bundled patents and entering into agreements that prevented customers suing Qualcomm for later infringements. Qualcomm admits the contract conditions but denies anyone was forced to sign them.

The complaints made to the EU relate to alleged breaking of FRAND agreements - Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory pricing agreements - which are often required by standards bodies before a technology will be incorporated into a standard. Most 3G networks are based on Wideband CDMA, which in turn is based on CDMA technology largely owned by Qualcomm and subject to FRAND agreements.

Qualcomm is, of course, overjoyed. It told us:

We are delighted with the decision to drop the case; commonsense has prevailed. From the outset we said that there was no case to answer and this decision by the EC, after four years of investigation, vindicates that position.

We're not sure that hanging on until your detractors wander off exactly vindicates Qualcomm's business practices, but Ericsson couldn't afford to keep the action alive on its own so Qualcomm walks away from what could have been a damaging inquiry. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.