Qualcomm Latest U.S. Company To Face EU Competition Probe

Qualcomm Latest U.S. Company To Face EU Competition Probe

Qualcomm joins Microsoft, Google and Facebook in feeling the wrath of the European Commission as the EU regulator still continues to scrutinize the chipmaker despite reaching an agreement previously.

The news comes after the company, which has a dominant position in the cellphone chip market, settled a similar probe in China.

According to reports on Friday, the Commission has sent questionnaires to Qualcomm's competitors in Europe. The surveys ask them detailed questions about the Qualcomm's business practices and competitors perception of these practices.

There are approximately 40 items on the questionnaire asking specifically about patent cross licenses and mutual non-assertion pacts (agreements where companies won't sue each other).

The EC also wants feedback on Qualcomm's practice of giving patent rights it has licensed to its phone-maker customers.

These probes are high stakes for the company as the outcome of China's probe was the company paying a fine of nearly $1 billion.

China ruled that Qualcomm had a monopoly over mobile chips in the country and that it had abused its market leading position by charging Chinese firms unfair and discriminatory prices, particularly the licensing its extensive portfolio of patents about mobile phone technologies.

Once the company settled in China, South Korea promptly launched an antitrust investigation of its own over similar allegations of market abuses.

The current EC inquiry into Qualcomm's practices is its second probe in the region. Nvidia filed a complain against the company which is also being investigated by the EC.

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