Qualcomm fined £872million

The US chipmaker Qualcomm has been fined £872million for paying Apple to only use its chips in iPhones and iPads.

In July 2015, the European Commission investigated the company’s market dominance for chips and modems.

Five months later, the chipmaker was issued the “steep” fine which represented 4.9% of the companies turnover last year.

European competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said to The Guardian: “Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance.

‘Affecting market competition’

“Qualcomm paid billions of US dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals. These payments were not just reductions in price – they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm’s baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.”

Despite this, last year Apple sued Qualcomm US$1billion for overcharging its chips, before accusing Qualcomm of patent infringement for battery-life related patents.

“We are confident this agreement did not violate EU competition rules or adversely affect market competition or European consumers,” added Qualcomm’s executive vice-president, Don Rosenberg.

Qualcomm also noted it has a strong case for judicial review.

Written by Leah Alger