Rambus Close to Settling EU Antitrust Case, Report Says

Rambus is close to settling an antitrust case brought by European Union regulators, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

As part of the settlement, Rambus would offer lower royalty rates to customers for use of its chip technology, but demand royalties from a greater number of customers, the Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The proposed settlement does not involve Rambus paying a fine and could be published in the EU's Official Journal as soon as Friday, the Journal said. The EU will "market test" the settlement before accepting it, the paper said.

A Rambus spokeswoman declined to comment on any proposed settlement.

Rambus has faced several legal battles with memory makers and government agencies, which have accused it of taking part in a standards-setting effort without disclosing that it held technology patents related to the standard being developed.

In 2007 the European Commission issued a preliminary "statement of objections" in which it said Rambus had violated EU competition law by not disclosing the patents while working with the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) to create royalty-free or low-royalty DRAM standards.

Earlier, in 2002, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission also alleged that Rambus behaved anti-competitively by failing to disclose its DRAM patents with JEDEC. After appeals, the charges were dropped this year when the U.S. Supreme Court denied an FTC request to review the Rambus case.

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