EU opens formal proceedings vs Qualcomm

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BRUSSELS, Oct 1 (Reuters) The European Commission said on Monday it had decided to open formal anti-trust proceedings against Qualcomm over the U.S. company's patent licensing rates for third-generation mobile telephones.

The move does not imply that the Commission has conclusive proof of an infringement and means the European Union executive will conduct an in-depth investigation as a matter of priority, the EU executive said in a statement.

Some of the world's biggest wireless technology firms had filed a complaint that Qualcomm was charging too much to license patents for high-speed, third-generation equipment.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, Nokia, Broadcom Corp, NEC Corp, Texas Instruments Inc and Ericsson have said Qualcomm's fees were far higher than the agreed-upon standard of ''fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory.'' REUTERS SR BD1552

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