Qualcomm faces another European Union antitrust fine, this time for using its financial strengths to push rivals out of the market.
According to Bloomberg's sources, the U.S. chip giant may be fined as soon as next month, as a result of an nvestigation related to 3G chips for internet mobile dongles sold between 2009 and 2011. Regulators allege these were sold below cost in order to push Icera, now owned by Nvidia, out of the market.
Qualcomm and the European Commission declined to comment on the fine.
That would make it the last U.S. technology firm to get a large antitrust penalty from Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, which is due to step down later this year after punishing Google with more than $9 billion in fines and ordering Apple to pay more than 14 billion euros in back taxes.
Qualcomm, the largest maker of chips for mobile phones, gets most of its profit from licensing patents. Makers of handsets pay the company royalties, whether or not they use its chips. That business practise has come under attack as governments around the world.
Last year Qualcomm was fined over payments to Apple that the EU said were an illegal ploy to ensure only its chips were used in iPhones and iPads. Qualcomm hsa appealed the case.