EU slapped Qualcomm for Apple Collusion

The EU has slapped Qualcomm with a $1.2B fine for colluding with Apple in order to cut out chip competitors. The EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said that Qualcomm paid “billions of dollars” to Apple. Some of this in the form of lowered prices and some through “rebates.” She claims to have documentation showing Apple considering Intel products, but not until the end of the “rebate” Qualcomm agreement. Sadly, there is documentation shared by Bloomberg.

Qualcomm
Qualcomm HQ: Picture: theverge.com

“This meant that no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were,” Vestager said. “We’re talking about one of the biggest and most important customers in this market.”

The story is basically

  • EU says paying Apple for exclusivity shut out Intel chips
  • Qualcomm strongly disagrees and will fight fine at EU court

The fine is significant in and of itself, but it’s also important considering Qualcomm’s wider position in the market. The company is not only being sued by Apple in a dispute over chip royalties, but is also facing down a $100 billion-plus hostile takeover from rival chipmaker Broadcom.

Qualcomm rejected the bid last November, saying it “dramatically undervalued” the company.

 

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