The EU has slapped mobile semiconductor maker, Qualcomm, with a fine totalling US$272 million (~RM1.12 billion) over what the European body has described as “predatory pricing” tactics used to drive out a competitor from the 3G modem business nearly a decade prior.
Investigation over Icera, the company that was driven out – and now owned by NVIDIA – began back in 2015. At the end of the investigation, the EU Commission’s Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, points out that Qualcomm was selling its 3G modems to Chinese brands Huawei and ZTE at prices far lower than what was being offered in the market. Between 2009 and 2011.
Doing this both clearly and severely undercut Icera, who clearly didn’t have the same amount of clout or deep pockets as Qualcomm at the time. Vestager notes that, at the time, Qualcomm had no reason to sells its 3G modems at below-market-value prices. Other than the fact that it saw Icera’s 3G modems as a threat then.
Unsurprisingly, Qualcomm isn’t even batting an eye at the EU’s fine, and said that it will be appealing against the fine. Bear in mind, this is despite the fact that the fine amount is a mere fraction of what the EU usually fines other tech giants.
This isn’t the first time Qualcomm has come been slapped with fines by the EU. Back in January last year, the governing entity fined the semiconductor maker €997 million (~RM4.6 billion) for abusing its dominant market position in the EU.
Outside the EU, the company is also facing scrutiny in the US after a District Judge struck off its appeal to dismiss antitrust ruling. Stating that it had “strangled competition”.
(Source: Techspot // Image: Techspot)