According to a report from Bloomberg, Qualcomm faces another European Union antitrust fine a year after being ordered to pay €997 million(US$1.13 billion) penalty for thwarting rival suppliers to Apple, according to three people familiar with the latest case.
The chip giant may be fined as soon as next month, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process isn’t public. That would make it the last US technology firm to get a large antitrust penalty from Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Vestager is due to step down later this year after punishing Google with more than US$9 billion in fines and ordering Apple to pay more than €14 billion (US$15.4 at the time) in back taxes. She warned in May she was “definitely not done yet” with big tech as she weighs potential new probes into Amazon, Google, and Apple.
The EU’s current Qualcomm investigation targets 3G chips for internet mobile dongles sold between 2009 and 2011. Regulators allege these were sold below cost in order to push Icera, now owned by Nvidia, out of the market. The EU took the unusual move of sending an extra antitrust complaint to Qualcomm last year to bolster its arguments of a “price-cost” test it used to show how far below cost the prices were.