The US chip manufacturer Qualcomm was on Thursday by the EU Commission for illegal business practices to a fine of 242 million euros has been condemned. About ten years ago, the company took advantage of its dominant position in order to oust competitors, according to Brussels.
The core is about so-called Baseband chipsets for the mobile radio standard UMTS third-generation (3G), which allow the connection of mobile devices with mobile networks and the Internet. “Qualcomm’s strategic approach prevented competition and innovation in this market and limited the choice of consumers in an industry where demand for and potential for innovative technologies is very high,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
The company sold its production-cost chips between 2009 and 2011 – including the Chinese Huawei Group – to eliminate competitor Icera. Icera was acquired in 2011 by the technology company Nvidia, which in 2015 handled the baseband chip division.
The EU competition officials have already imposed a fine of almost one billion euros on Qualcomm last year. At that time, from the point of view of the competition guardians, unauthorized methods were used, with which the company secured a place for its chips in Apple’s iPhones and iPads.