European Union regulators launched a double investigation against the US-based chip manufacturer Qualcomm, in order to probe possible abuses in the semiconductor market which it dominates.
“We are launching these investigations because we want to be sure that high tech suppliers can compete on the merits of their products,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU antitrust chief, said in a statement.
The investigations examine whether Qualcomm offered financial incentives or discounts to customers with the condition they exclusively prefer Qualcomm baseband chips in their products.
The EU will also investigate whether the chipmaker resorted to practices such as “predatory pricing” which push the competition out of market with below-cost prices.
“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,” Vestager said.
The antitrust commission dropped a four-year probe into the allegations the company was setting excessive prices on its patents in 2009. In addition another complaint against Qualcomm by the wireless chipmaker Icera is still pending.
“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,” Qualcomm said in a statement.
In April, the EU’s commission filed formal charges against Google, while opening examinations into the European tax affair of Amazon, Apple and Starbucks.