© tom schmucker dreamstime.com Components | January 24, 2018
EU issues EUR 997 million ticket to Qualcomm
The European Commission has fined Qualcomm EUR 997 million 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' a press release states. This is illegal under EU 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." Baseband chipsets enable smartphones and tablets to connect to cellular networks and are used both for voice and data transmission. LTE baseband chipsets comply with the 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard. Qualcomm is by far the world's largest supplier of LTE baseband chipsets. But there are other chip manufacturers active in this market – Intel (the largest supplier for chipsets used in computers), in particular, has tried to challenge and compete with Qualcomm for customers. Then as today, Apple was a key customer for LTE baseband chipsets, being an important maker of smartphones and tablets. In 2011, Qualcomm signed an agreement with Apple, committing to make significant payments to Apple on condition that the company would exclusively use Qualcomm chipsets in its iPhone and iPad devices. In 2013, the term of the agreement was extended to the end of 2016. The agreement made clear that Qualcomm would cease these payments, if Apple commercially launched a device with a chipset supplied by a rival. Furthermore, for most of the time the agreement was in place, Apple would have had to return to Qualcomm a large part of the payments it had received in the past, if it decided to switch suppliers. This meant that Qualcomm's rivals were denied the possibility to compete effectively for Apple's significant business. They were also denied business opportunities with other customers that could have followed from securing Apple as a customer. In fact, internal documents show that Apple gave serious consideration to switching part of its baseband chipset requirements to Intel. Qualcomm's exclusivity condition was a material factor why Apple decided against doing so, until the agreement came to an end. Then, in September 2016, when the agreement was about to expire and the cost of switching under its terms was limited, Apple started to source part of its baseband chipset requirements from Intel. Qualcomm's practices amount to an abuse of Qualcomm's dominant position in LTE baseband chipsets by preventing competition on the merits. Market dominance is, as such, not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However, dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant or in separate markets. The EC's decision concludes that Qualcomm held a dominant position in the global market for LTE baseband chipsets over the period investigated (i.e. between at least 2011 and 2016). This is based in particular on its very high market shares, amounting to more than 90% for the majority of the period. The market is also characterised by high barriers to entry. These include the research and development expenditure required before a supplier can launch an LTE chipset and various barriers related to Qualcomm's intellectual property rights. Qualcomm has abused this market dominance by preventing rivals from competing in the market. It did so by making significant payments to a key customer on condition that it would exclusively use Qualcomm chipsets. The issue with such an arrangement is not that the customer receives a short-term price reduction, but that the exclusivity condition denies rivals the possibility to compete. Based on a variety of qualitative and quantitative evidence, the Commission found that both consumers and competition have suffered as a result of Qualcomm's conduct. The fine in this case of EUR 997'439'000 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement, and is aimed at deterring market players from engaging in such anti-competitive practices in the future. The fine represents 4.9 percent of Qualcomm's turnover in 2017.
Vicor ink global distribution agreement with Arrow Vicor Corporation has expanded its Europe, Middle East and Africa relationship with Arrow Electronics, Inc. to a global distribution agreement.
Hemlock Semiconductor acquires DuPont TCS business The Michigan-based provider of ultra-pure polycrystalline silicon announces its acquisition of a DuPont business that makes trichlorosilane (TCS), the primary raw material used in producing the ultra-pure polysilicon HSC supplies to the semiconductor and solar industries.
Huawei opens 5G test centre in Serbia The company has officially opened its latest European centre for innovation and digital development and 5G test lab in Belgrade, Serbia.
First Sensor plans to sell its subsidiaries in USA and France to TE Connectivity Berlin-based First Sensor says it is planning to sell its US-based subsidiary in California, as well as its unit in Paris, France to TE Connectivity.
Sponsored content by Nordson ASYMTEKConformal Coating Results — When You Need Better Than Just "Good Enough" Conformal coating contributes to product quality and reliability, but it is typically viewed as a process that tolerates sufficient results, or "good enough." That view is changing as more advanced and diverse electronic products enter the consumer marketplace, from the Internet of Things to self-driving vehicles.
Silvaco acquires the assets of Coupling Wave Solutions S.A. EDA software and design IP supplier, Silvaco, has completed its acquisition of the assets of Coupling Wave Solutions S.A. (CWS), including IP, patents, and analysis technologies.
Nvidia / Arm deal dubbed as ‘disaster’ by Arm-cofounder The news that US-based Nvidia will acquire Arm from SoftBank Group in a USD 40 billion deal has already sparked some backlash within the industry. One of the vocal parties is Arm-cofounder, Hermann Hauser, who called the deal a disaster and said that it should be blocked.
Everlight criminally convicted for misappropriating Seoul Semi trade secrets LED technology supplier, Seoul Semiconductor, says that the Korean Suwon District Court convicted Everlight Electronics of criminal misappropriation of Seoul’s trade secrets.
It's official - NVIDIA to acquire Arm for $40 billion NVIDIA and SoftBank have entered into a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SoftBank in a transaction valued at USD 40 billion.
Sponsored content by Mek (Marantz Electronics)3D AOI connectivity is exceptionally important, but what about inspection quality? 3D automated optical inspection (AOI) systems have become a critical component of production lines in electronics manufacturing Smart Factories as the hubs for quality control, giving valuable feedback to the production machines. But Smart Factories with AOI can only work if the AOI results are reliable…
Tower Semi: 'all sites up and running following cyber attack' Tower Semiconductor says that all of its manufacturing sites are operational, and targeting full capability within the next few days, following the recovery from the cyber event a few days ago.
Jenoptik invests in new system from ClassOne Jenoptik has invested in a new Solstice LT electroplating system from semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology. The new system will be used for manufacturing semiconductor material for high-power diode lasers at Jenoptik's semiconductor production facility in Berlin-Adlershof, Germany.
MaxLinear acquires NanoSemi, Inc. MaxLinear, a provider of radio frequency (RF), analog, digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits, has completed the acquisition of NanoSemi, a provider of IP that utilises patented machine learning techniques to improve signal integrity and power efficiency in SoCs, ASICs, and FPGAs used in next-gen communication and AI systems.
Delphi secures major power electronics business win The provider of automotive propulsion systems announces that it has secured a major Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) electrification business, driving profitable long-term growth.
Sponsored content by congatec AGThe Edge of the Future: Modular Edge Computing Industrial edge servers should be advanced enough to be able to successfully handle a broad array of tasks. In the 21rst century, virtual machines are being relied on more and more for consolidating different kinds of Industry 4.0 workloads. Moreover, because Computer-on-Modules offer the flexibility needed to scale the computing power of each application, users always end with the best of both worlds: a fair price and optimal performance.
Yamaichi Electronics' new European factory Japan-based group Yamaichi Electronics has been producing in Frankfurt (Oder), the only manufacturing location of the group in Europe, for almost 15 years. Now production is running out of space.
SnapEDA launches new KiCad plugin to help engineers design electronics faster Today, SnapEDA - a company that helps engineers design electronics faster by removing barriers - is launching a new KiCad plugin, allowing designers to search and download its computer-aided design (CAD) models directly within the KiCad PCB design environment.
One final update from the Infineon site in Villach The shell of Infinion’s massive expansion in Villach, Austria now stands complete. Both the research and factory building are standing tall and the company is in full swing working on the facade as well as the interior.
Tower Semiconductor hit by cyber attack The semiconductor company says that it has taken measures to prevent the expansion of the event, but at this point there is no assessment as to the actual effect on the company.
SMIC responds to reports about a potential blacklist situation Chinese semiconductor foundry, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), found itself in eye of the storm following reports of a potential U.S. ban, much like the one experienced by Huawei.
ON Semi CEO plans to retire ON Semiconductor's president and CEO, Keith D. Jackson, intends to retire from ON Semiconductor in May 2021.
YES partners with Link Fab in Singapore and Malaysia YES (Yield Engineering Systems, Inc.), a manufacturer of process equipment for the semiconductor advanced packaging, life sciences and AR/VR markets, says it has signed an agreement with Link Fab to provide sales and service for YES’s clean, coat and cure systems in Singapore and Malaysia.
Former Digi-Key executive to bring expertise to RS and Allied Electrocomponents has announced the appointment of Chris Beeson to the role of Group Senior Vice President Electronics. Chris will report directly to COO Mike England and will be based at the headquarters of Allied Electronics & Automation in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
Siltronic ramps up GaN wafer activities with Aixtron system Siltronic AG strengthens its GaN on Silicon wafer activities with an AIX G5+ C system from Aixtron.
Osram went head to head with its contract manufacturer The Munich-based company says that it protects its know how and has concluded a settlement with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Lextar Electronics
Panasonic completes transfer of its semiconductor business Panasonic says it has completed the transfer of its semiconductor business to Nuvoton Technology Corporation, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company under the Winbond Electronics umbrella.
MagnaChip completes the sale of its foundry services and Fab 4 The designer and manufacturer has completed previously announced sale of the its Foundry Services Group and the factory in Cheongju (Fab 4) to Key Foundry Co., Ltd., for approximately USD 350.6 million.Load more news