Year of the Phoenix (aka EU/US competition cases reigniting in China)


2007-09: European Commission investigates Qualcomm for possible abuse of a dominant position in relation to compliance with FRAND and licensing terms for WCDMA (3G) technology, a case ultimately closed on grounds of administrative priorities, following a settlement between Qualcomm and the complainants.

2014: Chinese authorities responsible for competition law (the National Development and Reform Commission) investigate Qualcomm for… anticompetitive conduct involving the licensing fees/terms for standard essential technology, in this case for 4G.

2008-09: European Commission investigates Microsoft for abuse of a dominant position arising from the tying of software programs to its dominant Windows operating system (case closed by commitments, although we all know what happened next…)

2014: Chinese authorities (in this case the State Administration for Industry and Commerce) investigate Microsoft for… anticompetitive conduct relating to “compatibility, bundling and document authentication”, according to reports.

Companies in the tech space which were investigated by the EU / US authorities in the 2000s may wish to take note….