Following up on our articles where the European Union charged Google with antitrust practices, Qualcomm is the latest California company to incur their wrath. Last week, the EU antitrust regulators revealed they were investigating the chip maker for unfair practices.
The regulators have launched two separate probes of Qualcomm. One alleging that the mobile chip giant offered financial rewards to purchasers of 4G phone and tablet chips in an effort to incentivize them to buy exclusively from Qualcomm. The second investigation alleges predatory pricing practices. Specifically that Qualcomm sold chips at less than cost to drive competitors from the market.
This isn’t the first time this year that the chip maker has faced penalties for its practices. In February, they paid a fine of $975 million following a fourteen month investigation by the Chinese government. This latest investigation by the European Union regulators seems to be part of an ongoing push to ensure that companies in Europe have a level playing field when offering products to consumers.
European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager stated, “We are launching these investigations because we want to be sure that high-tech suppliers can compete on the merits of their products. Many customers use electronic devices, such as a mobile phone or a tablet, and we want to ensure that they ultimately get value for money.” If found guilty, Qualcomm could face a fine of up to 10 percent of global profits.
The bottom line seems to be that technology manufacturers worldwide need to really adhere to the rules and regulations of whichever market that they are marketing in or face the penalties that may be levied against them.
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