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Six Phone Firms Ask EU To Punish Qualcomm

LONDON — Six leading communications industry companies have filed separate complaints with the European Commission alleging that Qualcomm Inc. is unfairly withholding intellectual property.

Broadcom Corp. Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments Inc. have each asked the EC to investigate and stop alleged anticompetitive conduct by San Diego-based Qualcomm in the licensing of essential patents for 3G mobile technology.

Qualcomm is a pioneer of the use of code-division multiple access (CDMA) technology in wireless communications. It also holds several key patents and was in the middle of negotitations in the 1990s over the adoption of a family of standards, all based on CMDA, for the third-generation of mobile communications technology.

The protesting companies claimed that Qualcomm is violating European Union competition law and failing to meet the commitments it made to international standard bodies that it would license its technology on standard fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The six companies states at a joint press conference that without these statements by Qualcomm the wideband CDMA 3G standard would not have been adopted.

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