Qualcomm expressed dissatisfaction with the European Commission’s (EC) handling of a pricing probe involving former rival Icera, after receiving an additional statement of objection from the regulator.
The US chip company stated its practices are pro-competition and highlighted that the investigation has gone on for so long, the competitor in question is no longer in the business.
Qualcomm’s objections relate to an EC investigation into whether the company sold certain UMTS baseband chipsets used for 3G devices at prices below cost, with the intention of “eliminating” Icera.
“This investigation, now in its ninth year, alleges harm in 2009 to 2011, to a competitor who chose years later to exit the market for reasons unrelated to Qualcomm,” Don Rosenberg, general counsel and EVP of Qualcomm, said in a statement cited in various media reports.
He added the company is disappointed the case is still ongoing and will immediately begin preparing a response to the EC’s latest move.
“We believe that once the Commission has reviewed our response it will find that Qualcomm’s practices are pro-competitive and fully consistent with European competition rules,” he stated.
The supplementary statement sent this week focuses on certain elements of a “price-cost” test applied by the EC to assess the extent to which the chipsets were sold by Qualcomm at prices below cost.
Qualcomm faces a fine up to 10 per cent of its worldwide turnover if found guilty.
Last month Qualcomm asked the EC to reduce or remove an antitrust fine levied on it over its dealings with Apple, citing errors with the original decision.
Qualcomm was hit with the $1.2 billion fine in January after the EC found the company had paid Apple to use its chips exclusively in iPhones and iPads, a move which regulators said was an abuse of its dominant position.