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Federal Regulators Delay Decision on Broadcom-Qualcomm Dispute

Federal officials delayed a decision on a patent dispute between wireless chipmaker Qualcomm and smaller rival Broadcom by two weeks.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said late Friday it will delay its decision by 13 days as the agency decides if it will implement a ban requested by Broadcom for domestic sales of certain wireless phones using chips made by Qualcomm .

In thin after-hours trading Friday, Qualcomm shares rose 1% while Broadcom shares fell slightly.

Earlier this week, the companies dismissed a Deutsche Bank report which said they had settled their legal disputes.

Bear Stearns analyst Avi Silver recently expressed skepticism that the ITC would impose a ban on phones with Qualcomm chips.

"It would be exceedingly difficult for the ITC to punish Qualcomm while at the same time not having a meaningful effect on Verizon, Sprint, Cingular, T-Mobile, LG, Samsung, others -- and ultimately consumers," Silver wrote in a May 22 client note.

"We would also keep in mind that the FCC asked the ITC not to impose a remedy on downstream products, citing the overall harm to the telecom landscape," he said.

Qualcomm is also in a separate legal dispute with Nokia , the world's largest cellphone maker, after the companies failed to reach a new licensing contract agreement.

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