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A number of major players in the mobile industry have signed an agreement to standardize charging ports for mobile devices sold in the European Union. Beginning in 2010, companies including Motorola, Apple, LG, NEC, Research in Motion, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Sony Ericsson will use microUSB ports on new devices sold in Europe, doing away with proprietary chargers that not only cause consumer headache but also result in thousands of tons of waste each year. The European agreement comes months after a similar standardization was endorsed by the CTIA, the major international wireless trade group, also making microUSB ports the charging standard in the United States by 2012. [More at the UK Times]