Even though they’re dominating the market due to the continuous growth of rival chipmaker MediaTek, Qualcomm is still an important player, but, apparently, they managed to reach this position through unfair tactics.
According to Bloomberg, the European Union sent antitrust objections to Qualcomm Inc., regarding using sales tactics that thwarted rivals for mobile-phone chip technology.
Apparently, back in 2011, the company has paid big amounts of money to a major smartphone and tablet manufacturer, whose identity wasn’t revealed yet, in order to exclusively use Qualcomm chipsets for their product. And this is not all, as between 2009 and 2011, the company is also said to have sold chipsets for way lower prices, in order to crush Icera, a former competitor, currently owned by NVIDIA.
“I am concerned that Qualcomm’s actions may have pushed out competitors or prevented them from competing,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “Many consumers enjoy high-speed Internet on smartphones and other devices –- baseband chipsets are key components that make this happen,” she added.
The manufacturer has been given several months to respond to these charges and eventually come with a solution that will allow them to avoid penalties.
“We look forward to demonstrating that competition in the sale of wireless chips has been and remains strong and dynamic, and that Qualcomm’s sales practices have always complied with European competition law,” general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.
This adds the chipmaker to a list of growing U.S. tech companies that are currently dealing with antitrust actions from the European Union. Google’s Alphabet Inc., Microsoft or Intel have also been involved in similar situations. Also, if things are left unsolved, it might lead to fines, capped at 10 percent of a company’s yearly global revenue.