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Antitrust: EU opens two investigations against Qualcomm

The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by Qualcomm in the field of baseband chipsets.
The first will examine whether Qualcomm has breached EU's antitrust rules – which prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position – by offering financial incentives to customers if the buy the baseband chipsets exclusively or almost exclusively from Qualcomm.

The second will look into whether Qualcomm engaged in 'predatory pricing' by charging prices below costs in order to force its competition out of the market.

EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: "We are launching these investigations because we want to be sure that high tech suppliers can compete on the merits of their products. Many customers use electronic devices such as a mobile phone or a tablet and we want to ensure that they ultimately get value for money. Effective competition is the best way to stimulate innovation.”

The first antitrust investigation focuses on Qualcomm's conditions related to the supply of certain chipsets that comply with 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) standards. In particular, the Commission will investigate whether Qualcomm has granted payments, rebates or other financial incentives to its customers on condition that they purchase all or a significant part of their baseband chipsets requirements from Qualcomm.

The second investigation concerns Qualcomm's pricing practices with regard to certain chipsets that comply with 3G (UMTS) standards and are used to deliver cellular mobile connectivity.


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