Japan’s antitrust watchdog has told Qualcomm Inc.’s Japanese subsidiary that it may investigate its licensing and chip business practices in Japan, Qualcomm said on Thursday, sending its shares down more than 3 percent. The news comes after sources said last week that the European Commission is likely to intensify its investigation of Qualcomm’s patent licensing rates for a new generation of mobile phone technology. Japan’s Fair Trade Commission did not say when it might investigate the company or identify any complainant, Qualcomm said.
Some of the world’s biggest wireless technology firms had complained to European regulators that Qualcomm was charging too much to license patents for the 3G equipment. Matsushita Electric, Nokia, Broadcom Corp., NEC Corp., Texas Instruments and Ericsson have said Qualcomm’s fees were far higher than the agreed-upon standard of “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory.” Continue >>