Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm faces potential EU anti-trust investigation

26 Aug 2014

The world’s largest manufacturer of chips for mobile phones Qualcomm may face an EU anti-trust investigation in relation to allegations by a subsidiary of Nvidia.

Icera, a company acquired by Nvidia in 2011, made a complaint to the European Commission in June 2010 accusing Qualcomm of anti-competitive behaviour, according to Reuters.

The nature of the complaint was never made public but could relate to the use of patent-related incentives and exclusionary pricing of chipsets.

Qualcomm is now trying to conclude an investigation by China’s pricing regulator into alleged monopoly practices.

It is understood the Icera case has been fast-tracked in the aftermath of Intel earlier this year losing a court battle appealing a €1.06bn fine imposed by the European Commission five years ago.

It is expected the EU probe into Qualcomm could begin in the coming weeks.

EU officials have powers to fine a company up to 10pc of global annual revenues.

Qualcomm generated US$26.2bn in revenues for the year ended 30 June.

Smartphone user image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years