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Qualcomm Slapped With $272m Fine By EU For Overpricing Baseband Chips

An investigation that dates back to over a decade now has finally come to haunt Qualcomm. European antitrust investigation had launched a probe against Qualcomm for allegedly using abusive pricing to get its primary rival, Icera, out of the market. After years of speculations, the EU has finally decided to slap Qualcomm with €242 million, which sums up to be around 1.27 per cent of its overall global revenue for the year 2018.

It all began when Qualcomm were alleged to be using unfair pricing for its baseband chips to defeat its primary rival, the UK-based Icera. The company was alleged to have been selling batches of three of its UMTS chipsets to the forerunners in the market like Huawei and ZTE at costs below the minimum value to strategically leave Icera reeling for existence in the market. Qualcomm however has completely denied the allegations and have stated that it is a “novel theory” created by the Commission itself and it will appeal against the ruling. While the appeal is pending, Qualcomm has assured it will give a financial guarantee in lieu of paying the fine. The case officially was filed by Icera itself in the year 2015 and details out Qualcomm’s illegal practices during 2009 to 2011. The chipsets which were sold underpriced were used during those three years to help smartphones and tablets connect with cellular network for data and voice transmission. During that time, as per Commission’s findings, Icera’s chipsets were more developed and offered better data rate performance than the chipsets manufactured by Qualcomm.

Amazon, just after facing action from the Germans over an antitrust issue, now stand facing the EU over pretty much the same thing. Despite changing its policies to resolve the issues against it, Amazon will be facing an investigation over its handling of merchant data.