Qualcomm must provide EU answers or face fine - Mobile World Live

Qualcomm must provide EU answers or face fine

17 JUL 2017

Qualcomm is facing daily fines of €580,000 after failing to block a European Union (EU) order that requires the chip giant to provide internal information relating to an antitrust probe.

The company, which is facing an investigation by the European Commission for using anti-competitive tactics to force rival chipset maker Icera, now owned by Nvidia, out of the market, will be hit with the penalty if it continues to resist demands for the information.

Qualcomm failed in its attempt to block the request after the EU general court said the demand did not put the chip company’s business or financial health at risk.

“The applicant does not claim that its financial viability would be at risk or that its market share could be affected substantially,” said EU general court president Marc Jaeger.

Qualcomm had argued the EU’s demand required enormous work and significant financial costs, estimated at €3 million.

The company could continue to fight the issue, but it must now comply and hand over the information.

It failed to meet a deadline of 30 June to respond to queries, which are required in the final stages of the EU investigation into predatory chipset pricing.

The EU ruling comes amid Qualcomm’s ongoing row with Apple, which has escalated into a bitter legal dispute.

Most recently, Qualcomm asked the US International Trade Commission to block the sale of certain iPhones that allegedly infringe on patents.

The daily penalty for failing to comply with the EU order will be a separate fine, even if regulators find Qualcomm guilty of using anti-competitive sales tactics. The company is accused of selling chipsets for internet dongles at a deliberate lower cost to negatively impact rival Icera between 2009 and 2011.

Qualcomm is also facing a separate probe by the EU for making illegal payments to a customer, for exclusive use of its chipsets.


Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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