Europe fines Qualcomm $1.2B over chip payments to Apple
The European Commission has fined Qualcomm (QCOM) EUR 997M, or $1.2B, for “abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets.”
Qualcomm prevented rivals from competing in the market by making significant payments to a key customer on condition it would not buy from rivals, the agency said in a statement.
This is illegal under European Union antitrust rules.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
“Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance.
Qualcomm paid billions of US Dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals. These payments were not just reductions in price – they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm’s baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.
This meant that no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were.
Qualcomm’s behaviour denied consumers and other companies more choice and innovation – and this in a sector with a huge demand and potential for innovative technologies.
This is illegal under EU antitrust rules and why we have taken today’s decision.”
QCOM closed at $68.34.
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