According to Bloomberg News, three sources familiar with the situation revealed that the EU may once again impose an anti-monopoly penalty on Qualcomm. A year ago, Qualcomm was fined 997 million euros ($1.13 billion) for obstructing competitors' supply to Apple.
The anonymous sources said that the EU may impose fines on the chip giant as early as next month, which will make it the last EU anti-monopoly fine imposed by EU competition commissioner MargretheVestager. American technology company, she is about to leave later this year.
Prior to this, Vestag had imposed a fine of more than $9 billion on Google and ordered Apple to pay more than €14 billion in taxes. She also issued a warning in May this year that antitrust investigations for large technology companies are “absolutely not completed” and are considering launching new surveys for Amazon, Google and Apple.
The EU's current survey for Qualcomm targets the company's 3G chips sold between 2009 and 2011, and these chips are used in Internet mobile devices. Regulators alleged that Qualcomm sold the products at a price below the cost in order to force the present Cerve subsidiary's Icera to exit the market. The EU took an unusual move last year and launched an additional antitrust charge against Qualcomm to support its arguments about the “price to cost ratio” test, which is used to find out the price of Qualcomm products. How much is the cost.
Qualcomm and the European Commission declined to comment on the news. Among the above three sources, one said that the EU may also impose a fine on Qualcomm after the end of the summer recess in August.
Last year, Qualcomm was subject to EU anti-monopoly penalties for paying Apple, and the fines at that time hit the fifth highest level in history. The EU said that Qualcomm did this illegally, with the goal of ensuring that the iPhone and iPad only use the company's chips. Qualcomm is appealing the fine in the European Court of Justice.
Qualcomm is the largest manufacturer of mobile phone chips, and the company is unique among semiconductor manufacturers because most of its profits come from patent licenses. Regardless of whether the handset manufacturer uses Qualcomm chips, it is necessary to pay royalties to the company. The company’s approach has been criticized as governments around the world review Qualcomm’s business practices.