Qualcomm is appealing against a European antitrust fine of 242 million euros. The company was fined in 2019 by the European Commission for selling certain 3G chipsets below cost to thwart a competitor.
Qualcomm steps to the dishthe second highest court of the European Union, writes news agency Reuters. The company is appealing against a fine of 242 million euros. The company was fined in 2019 by the European Commission. The Commission argued that Qualcomm sold its 3G chipsets below cost years ago. In such practices, known as predatory pricing, companies offer products at prices so low that competitors cannot keep up.
Qualcomm sold its 3G chips for low prices to smartphone makers ZTE and Huawei. The company did this to push British chipmaker Icera out of the market, the European Commission stated in 2019. According to the EU, the trade practices took place between 2009 and 2011. Icera is now part of Nvidia.
A Qualcomm lawyer stated during a hearing on Monday that the fine is “the second part of the European Commission’s campaign against Qualcomm,” Reuters writes. He stated that the 3G chipsets “constituted only 0.7 percent of the market for UMTS” and therefore it was not possible for the company to squeeze competitors out of the chipset market. A lawyer for the Commission argued in court that Qualcomm’s actions showed it was determined to eliminate a rival before it could pose a threat. The General Court, which is part of the European Court of Justice, will rule in the coming months.
Qualcomm won a similar case at the General Court last year. In addition, a European fine of 997 million euros was waived due to procedural irregularities in the investigation, which prevented Qualcomm from properly defending itself. This fine of almost one billion euros revolved around agreements that Qualcomm would have had with Apple. Qualcomm would have paid the tech giant billions to use only its chips in iPhones and iPads, in order to exclude competitors such as Intel.