EU Opens Antitrust Probe Into Qualcomm 5G Business

Qualcomm is being investigated by the European Commission (EC) over potential antitrust practices relating to the firm’s 5G chipset business.

The US chip giant confirmed the investigation in a regulatory filing (.PDF). According to Qualcomm, the EC requested information on December 3, 2019, in regards to Qualcomm’s Radio Frequency Front End designs, used in 5G devices.  

At the same time, European regulators informed Qualcomm that they are “investigating whether [Qualcomm] engaged in anti-competitive behavior” within the European economic area.

In particular, as reported by Reuters, the EC wants to know whether the San Diego-based chipmaker leveraged its market position in 5G baseband processors & modems in the RFFE space to disadvantage competitors.  

Qualcomm says it is in the “process of responding.”

The company has warned investors that if European regulators find that there has been a violation of competition rules in the region, a fine of up to 10 percent of annual revenue can be imposed, alongside injunctions and the restriction of business practices deemed inappropriate, all of which could hit the bottom line.