Japan Launches Antitrust Investigation Into Qualcomm

By Elaine Chow (December 4, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- The latest regulatory body to raise concerns over possible anti-competitive practices at Qualcomm Inc., Japan's Fair Trade Commission has launched an investigation into whether the company's sales of semiconductor chips to Japanese manufacturers violated antitrust laws.

Qualcomm is suspected of offering Japanese cell phone makers discounted licensing fees on its patented technologies in exchange for agreement by the cell phone makers to only use Qualcomm products, according to Japanese news agency, JiJi press.

Qualcomm owns patents and collects licensing fees for code-division multiple access (CDMA) chips used in cell phones. Currently, CDMA chips dominate the Asian and United States phone markets....

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