GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-China regulators says Qualcomm seeks to end anti-trust probe

(Adds details, background)

BEIJING, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China's pricing regulator said on Friday U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc was seeking to end an investigation into monopoly practices and had expressed willingness to improve and correct pricing issues.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in a statement on its website, said its officials had met on Thursday with a delegation from Qualcomm which included company President Derek Aberle.

The NDRC gave no further details. Qualcomm's Beijing-based spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

The regulator is investigating Qualcomm's local subsidiary after it said in February the U.S. chipmaker was suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards, allegations which could see it hit with record fines of more than $1 billion.

Last month, a state-run newspaper said the NDRC had determined that Qualcomm had a monopoly but did not say whether the regulator had determined that the company had abused this monopoly. Qualcomm is one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers.

Qualcomm is one of at least 30 foreign firms to come under scrutiny as China seeks to enforce a 2008 anti-monopoly law which some critics say is being used to unfairly target overseas businesses, raising protectionism concerns.

Companies being investigated for anti-trust issues include Microsoft Corp and automaker Volkswagen AG. This week, the NDRC slapped a record $201 million fine on 12 Japanese automakers it said had engaged in price manipulation.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten, Matthew Miller and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Miral Fahmy)