Qualcomm is tipped to be facing another round of European Union antitrust fine. In January last year, Qualcomm was ordered to pay $1.23 billion for opposing rival chip suppliers to Apple. The oncoming antitrust fine is of unknown value and is likely to be announced next month.
Bloomberg first reported the news and the source have requested to remain undisclosed. The fine is the result of an ongoing investigation by the European Union. The investigation pertains to Qualcomm’s activities with respect to the sale of 3G chips between 2009 and 2011. According to regulators, the 3G chips were sold below cost in order to bleed Icera out of the market. However, Icera was later acquired by Nvidia.
Interestingly, the case also discussed an extra antitrust complaint against Qualcomm. EU may use the price-cost test to calculate how less was the sale price as compared to the cost of production. In other words, this test is aimed at helping the EU determine whether or not Qualcomm has sold the chips below production cost and how far below the production cost.
Both Qualcomm and the European Commission have declined to comment on the fine. Meanwhile, this is expected to be the last antitrust fine issued with Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the helm of the EU commission. Vestager is known for slapping Google with more than $9 million in fine and ordering Apple to pay back taxes accounting to more than 14 billion euros. Vesteger is expected to step down by the end of this year. In May, Vesteger told that she was “definitely not done yet” whilst speaking about probes against large tech companies.[via Bloomberg]