EU Commission on alert as it issues a second fine on Qualcomm due to market abuse

Qualcomm was fined €242 million on Thursday after blocking a rival from entering the market around a decade ago, with this being the company’s second EU antitrust penalty.

The European Commission, which is the EU’s competition regulator, accused the company of making use of predatory pricing during 2009 up until 2011, with this pricing strategy having the aim of forcing out British phone software creator Icera, which is now part of Nvidia Corporation.

Current European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated that “Qualcomm’s strategic behaviour prevented competition and innovation in the market.”

The European Commission has only recently fined Qualcomm €997 million on a separate case in 2018, in which they were allegedly paying Apple to use only its chips in the manufacturing of its famous iPhones, with this being a tactic to compete in a stronger manner with Intel Corporation.

Qualcomm Incorporated is one of the world’s most famous chipmaker, and with a history of around 30 years, it has dominated the market when it comes to telecommunications as well as semiconductors.

Throughout the years the company has faced multiple legal issues, most of which being restraints imposed on client companies to not make use of products produced by other chipmakers, as well as restraining companies such as Samsung to not sell their chips to other phone makers.

Qualcomm was also suspected to be overcharging and abusing its market position in 2014, with China’s anti-monopoly regulator leading the allegations. Qualcomm was eventually fined a record-breaking €870 million for tactics which the government claimed hurt consumers greatly.