A few weeks after handing Microsoft
The complaint was filed against Qualcomm by six technology giants: Nokia
While the in-depth investigation is a matter of top priority, the Commission noted that it could take two years to complete. The long time frame is not surprising given the complexity of the case and difficulty in proving the accusations true. Certainly, a fair licensing rate for Qualcomm's contributions to various technologies will be difficult -- if not impossible -- to pin down.
The six companies also contend that Qualcomm uses its intellectual property prowess to keep other companies out of the market for chipsets that go into wireless devices. The complaint accuses Qualcomm of giving more favorable terms to its chipset customers, while making it more costly for other companies to win the business.
Qualcomm's task in front of the European Commission will be to show that its practices actually encourage innovation and competition rather than stifle it. The company has a solid point in that the six complainants all hold significant or dominant positions in the wireless market, making it hard for them to prove that their businesses have been damaged or "stifled" by Qualcomm.
With its new General Counsel Donald Rosenberg just brought in from Apple
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Fool contributor Dave Mock thinks you have to own Park Place before your business is considered a monopoly. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy is pretty even without pearls.