CASE COMMENTS: MERGERS – EUROPEAN UNION – CONGLOMERATE EFFECTS – STANDARD ESSENTIAL PATENTS – REMEDIES

Standard essential patents: The European Commission finds that a merger between two major players in the semiconductor industry raises conglomerate concerns (Qualcomm/NXP Semiconductors)

On 18 January 2018, the European Commission approved the acquisition of Dutch company NXP Semiconductors by U.S. group Qualcomm. Both parties were active in the supply of semiconductors. The Commission concluded that the transaction raised conglomerate concerns due to the parties’ strong positions in neighbouring markets. Following a Phase 2 review Qualcomm offered a remedy package to alleviate the Commission’s concerns. The parties held strong positions in neighbouring markets Qualcomm is a major manufacturer of semiconductors used in mobile devices. In particular, it is the global leader in the supply of baseband chipsets, which enable the connection of mobile devices to mobile telecommunications networks. Baseband chipsets implement one or multiple cellular standards (LTE, UMTS, GSM

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Ianis Girgenson, Standard essential patents: The European Commission finds that a merger between two major players in the semiconductor industry raises conglomerate concerns (Qualcomm/NXP Semiconductors), 18 January 2018, Concurrences Review N° 3-2018, Art. N° 87700, pp. 134-136

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