The European Commission fines the US chip company Qualcomm of 242 million euros for abuse of its dominant market position. According to Brussels, Qualcomm was guilty of price dumping of chips for mobile phones in order to push its smaller competitor Icera out of the market.

It revolves around so-called UMTS chips, which connect smartphones and tablets to mobile networks. The illegal practices took place between 2009 and 2011. In the summer of 2015, the European Commission launched a formal investigation into the case. The fine imposed amounts to nearly 1.3 percent of Qualcomm’s revenue in 2018.

“Qualcomm sold these products below cost with the intention of eliminating a competitor. The behavior of Qualcomm disturbed competition and innovation in this market,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager (Competition) in an explanation of the fine.

Icera filed a complaint with Brussels in 2010 about the course of events by Qualcomm. According to the European Commission, Icera became an ever greater challenger with Qualcomm’s UMTS chips. In 2011, Icera was taken over by Nvidia.

At the start of last year, Qualcomm also received a European fine of almost 1 billion euros for alleged unfair agreements with technology group Apple. The chip company has appealed against this fine.

Vestager also announced that Qualcomm’s industry colleague Broadcom was in sight. At the beginning of the fall, the European Commissioner hopes to be able to put an end to non-compliant contracts. This is possible with a special measure while the investigation against the chip company is still ongoing.

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