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European Antitrust Regulators Say Qualcomm Is Hindering Rivals

European Antitrust Regulators Say Qualcomm Is Hindering Rivals

The European Union will charge Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) with attempting to stifle competition in the chip making industry. Qualcomm could face a range of penalties including fines of up to 10 percent of revenue if found guilty.

Wall Street Journal's Tom Fairless wrote, "The European Commission, the EU's top antitrust authority, said Tuesday it had charged Qualcomm with illegally paying a major customer to exclusively use its chips, and selling chips below cost .... That contract... harmed competition and innovation in the chipset market."

The illegal payment and accusation by antitrust regulators of selling chips below cost in 2009-2011 were done regulators say, "with the aim of forcing Icera out of the market."

While it is not clear what specific steps of action Qualcomm intend to take, the chip manufacturer's general counsel Don Rosenberg said, "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." Qualcomm has three months to respond to the exclusive payment allegation and four months to respond to the allegation of selling chips below cost.

Shares of Qualcomm recently traded at $50.12, down 4.42 percent.

Posted-In: Antitrust European Union Tom FairlessNews Eurozone Legal Markets Best of Benzinga


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