The European Union’s antitrust regulator has dropped its four-year investigation into whether Qualcomm has been charging unreasonably high royalties on its patents around 3G technology, including CDMA.
The investigation was dropped after all the complainants in the case withdrew or indicated their intention to withdraw their complaints against Qualcomm. The European Commission never reached a formal conclusion since officially launching the investigation in October 2007.
The commission began looking into Qualcomm’s royalty rates in 2005 after companies, including Nokia and Ericsson, complained about the company’s rates on 3G technology.
Almost three-quarters of Qualcomm’s income is derived from royalties on its extensive portfolio of technology patents. As a result of the closing of the investigation, Qualcomm will avoid a potential fine or forced cuts to its royalty rates.
The closing of the investigation comes just months after the Korea Fair Trade Commission levied a $230 million charge against Qualcomm alleging that the company abused its monopoly on CDMA patents.
South Korea, home to manufacturing giants Samsung and LG, is one of Qualcomm’s largest markets. Qualcomm is currently appealing the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s ruling.
Filed Under: Industry regulations, Infrastructure