EU to slap Qualcomm with second antitrust fine: report

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Last year the EU levied a $1.13 billion fine against Qualcomm for anticompetitive acts against rival Apple suppliers. (Qualcomm)

The European Union could hit U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm with a second antitrust penalty as early as next month, according to Bloomberg.

The outlet cited unnamed sources familiar with the case, which relates to 3G chips for mobile hotspots allegedly sold at prices below cost to force company Icera out of the market.

Last year the EU levied a $1.13 billion fine against Qualcomm for anticompetitive acts against rival Apple suppliers.

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RELATED: U.S. district judge sides with FTC, rules Qualcomm violated antitrust laws

At the time the European Commission released a statement saying it issued the penalty against Qualcomm for “abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets. Qualcomm prevented rivals from competing in the market by making significant payments to a key customer on condition it would not buy from rivals. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

Qualcomm is appealing that fine. 

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously slapped Google with more than $9 billion in fines, and ordered Apple to pay back taxes totally more than $15 billion.  

Back stateside, in May a U.S. district judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that certain Qualcomm business practices, including the price of royalties the tech giant charges for its patents in the smartphone market, violated antitrust laws.

The FTC filed a suit against Qualcomm in early 2017, and the district judge’s ruling allows the agency to pursue the case.

After the May ruling, Qualcomm announced plans to seek an immediate stay of the judgement and an expedited appeal in federal court.

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