This time the EC is looking into Qualcomm following a complaint by British wireless chip company Icera, which is accusing the firm of anticompetitive activity.
Icera would not comment on the action telling us that when it had a statement it would let us know. However we were told this wouldn’t be today. The EC said that the investigation was more of a “fact-finding exercise at this stage”.
Qualcomm has been relatively upfront. It said in a statement: “We understand that matters are at a very preliminary stage and we are currently reviewing the allegations,
“We can confirm that Icera has lodged a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in anticompetitive activity.
“We do note, however, the similarity between Icera’s allegations and those in complaints made previously to the EU, which apparently failed to persuade the Commission and were ultimately withdrawn.”
In November the company was cleared by the EC after a four year investigation which looked into a complaints by Broadcom, Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, NEC Corp., Nokia, Panasonic and Texas Instruments. These claimed that Qualcomm’s royalty fees for licensing patents were excessive and that its tactics have kept other companies from entering the market for chips used in mobile phones.
These charges were dropped after Ericsson settled for a patent pricing agreement. Nokia and the rest of the companies followed shortly after.