Tag: ue

EU watchdog bites Qualcomm’s rump

AnubiIt looks as if the EU is going to back Nvidia’s complaint against Qualcomm and investigate the chipmaker for alleged anti-trust shenanigans.

Nvidia has been moaning about Qualcomm for nearly four years and the investigation coincides with a similar case in China into the chipmaker’s monopoly practices.

If found guilty of breaching EU rules, the company could face a fine of up to $2.5 billion.

Reuters said that the Commission may open a case after the summer.

The case centred on the British mobile phone chipmaker Icera which was bought by Nvidia in 2011.

While no one said what happened to Icera, it appears that the company accused Qualcomm of using patent-related incentives and exclusionary pricing of chipsets to discourage customers from doing business with it.

No one seemed to care that much and the issue appeared to have faded from the Commission’s agenda. However, a recent case where Europe’s second-highest court in June upheld a record 1.1 billion euro EU fine against Intel for abuse of its dominant market position made the regulators realise that they were sitting on a nice little earner.

Companies can be fined as much as 10 percent of their global revenues for breaching EU antitrust rules.

But the case is a long way off being resolved and anything could happen. In 2010, the EU competition authority scrapped a four-year probe into Qualcomm after Ericsson and Texas Instruments withdrew their objections against the company.