Over the years, more than one American based company (and plenty of European ones, too) have come under fire in the EU for violation of antitrust law with famous examples including Microsoft and, more recently, Google. Now Qualcomm is facing a few problems of its own as European regulators have accused the chip giant of bribery and other anti-competitive practices.
According to the European Commission, they have reason to believe that Qualcomm is guilty of illegally paying a large sum of cash to an unnamed “major customer” in order to convince them to exclusively use Qualcomm chip. In addition, Qualcomm is said to have purposely sold many of its chips at under cost with the sole aim of forcing smaller European competitor Icera out of business – a company that has since been purchased by NVIDIA.
Bottom-line, the EU says that Qualcomm’s practices gave them an unfair advantage over their competition. If found guilty, Qualcomm could be facing some hefty fines, though the exact sum is hard to guess at this point. Qualcomm has until April to respond to the charges.
What do you think, regardless of the EU’s antitrust laws that are in place, how do you feel about a competitor using exclusivity deals and below-cost pricing in order to create problems for less financially solid competitors? Share your thoughts in the comments below.