EU fines Qualcomm for paying Apple to use its microchips
BRUSSELS - The Associated Press
EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Jan. 24 that San Diego-based Qualcomm “illegally shut out rivals from the market” for more than five years by paying key customer Apple to not use chips made by Qualcomm’s rivals.
The EU said that the abuse happened between 2011 and 2016 and centered on baseband chipsets that allow smartphones and tablets to connect to cellular networks. Over most of that period, Qualcomm accounted for over 90 percent of the market.
Apple was a dominant player with its iPad and iPhones and the two companies twice entered an agreement to cut out rivals.
She said she had internal documents showing Apple considered switching some of its work to Intel but could not do so financially until the end of the agreement.
In a warning to others, Vestager said “don’t go there” and the fine of 997 million euros is meant to be a deterrent.