Vestager Warns Against EU Using “Very Big Chip Producers”

The European Union should guard against relying on a handful of “very big” chip producers as it weighs billions of euros of potential investment in semiconductors, the bloc’s digital policy chief Margrethe Vestager told Bloomberg TV.

European leaders have called for more investment to alleviate a supply shortage that’s rippled through several industries, and companies like California-based Intel have been chasing European support to help increase local capacity. 

But Vestager, who’s also in charge of competition matters, showed skepticism about funding for production facilities, saying support for semiconductors needs to aim instead for “a much more diversified supply chain.”

“It’s important that we focus on the global market” and “that also European production is meant for a global market, because we get the right competitive pressure,” she said in an interview in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday, September 15. “We cannot just have it that we depend on very few, very big chip producers.”

Intel’s smaller European rivals Infineon Technologies AG and STMicroelectronics NV have also expressed doubts about a push for cutting-edge chips, instead of serving up less-advanced semiconductors needed for automotive, industrial, and internet-of-things production.

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