Qualcomm Faces Second EU Fine as Vestager’s Last Big-Tech Target
Qualcomm faces another EU antitrust fine a year after being ordered to pay 997 million euro penalty, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the latest case.
The chip giant may be fined as soon as next month, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process isn’t public. That would make it the last U.S. technology firm to get a large antitrust penalty from Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Vestager is due to step down later this year after punishing Google with more than $9 billion in fines and ordering Apple to pay more than 14 billion euros in back taxes. She warned in May she was “definitely not done yet” with big tech as she weighs potential new probes into Amazon, Google and Apple.
The EU’s current Qualcomm investigation targets 3G chips for internet mobile dongles sold between 2009 and 2011. Regulators allege these were sold below cost in order to push Icera, now owned by Nvidia, out of the market. The timing of the penalty could slip beyond the EU’s August summer break, one of the people said.
Last year Qualcomm was handed the EU’s fifth-largest antitrust penalty over payments to Apple that the EU said were an illegal ploy to ensure only its chips were used in iPhones and iPads. Qualcomm is challenging the fine at the EU courts.