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EuropeanCommission to drop its Qualcomm case

THEEuropean Commission closed antitrust proceedings against Qualcomm yesterday, after big technology companies dropped their four-year old complaints against the US mobile chip supplier.<br /><br />The Commission&rsquo;s decision came as Ericsson, the world&rsquo;s biggest mobile network equipment maker, and Texas Instruments, Qualcomm&rsquo;s biggest wireless chip rival, both announced that they were withdrawing their complaints.<br /><br />The case, which kicked off in October 2005 with complaints from six large companies about Qualcomm&rsquo;s licensing practices, marks the end of some of Qualcomm&rsquo;s biggest legal disputes, except from an ongoing battle with Japanese regulators.<br /><br />The end of the case means Qualcomm could be in a better position to return more cash to shareholders through buybacks or a dividend increase, UBS analyst Maynar Um.