The European Commission said on July 16 that it opened two formal investigations of Qualcomm’s competitive practices in its sale of radio chips for mobile devices, also called baseband chips.
Qualcomm has indicated in securities filings that European regulators were investigating the company.
The commission said its first investigation “will examine whether Qualcomm has breached EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position by offering financial incentives to customers on condition that they buy the baseband chipsets exclusively or almost exclusively from Qualcomm.”
The second investigation “will look into whether Qualcomm engaged in ‘predatory pricing’ by charging prices below costs with a view to forcing its competition out of the market.”
Qualcomm issued the following statement in reply:
“We were informed that the European Commission has taken the procedural step of ‘initiating proceedings’ against Qualcomm with regard to the two ongoing investigations into Qualcomm’s sale of chipsets for mobile devices. This step allows investigators to gather additional facts, but it represents neither an expression by the commission on the merits of the case nor an accusation against the company.
“While we were disappointed to hear this, we have been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with the commission, and we continue to believe that any concerns are without merit.”