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Apple and Samsung chipmaker accused of illegally stifling competition

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Qualcomm Snapdragon

The world’s biggest mobile chip supplier is facing scrutiny from the European Commission.

Qualcomm has been accused of illegally stifling competition in the mobile chip market.

The European Commission has sent two ‘Statements of Objections’ to Qualcomm outlining various allegations against the US chip maker.

According to the EU regulators, Qualcomm used its position as a market leader to force competitor Icera out of the market, in breach of EU law.

It’s alleged that Qualcomm may have illegally paid a major customers to use its chipsets exclusively.

What’s more, Qualcomm may have also sold chips below cost to force rivals out of the market.

I am concerned that Qualcomm’s actions may have pushed out competitors or prevented them from competing,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief.

The other Statement of Objections relates to Qualcomm’s sale of chipsets in USB dongles to two customers between 2009 and 2011.

“Qualcomm has been cooperating with the Commission since the outset of these matters, and now that we’ve received the Statement of Objections, we welcome the chance to formally respond,” said Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg, in a statement supplied to TrustedReviews.

Rosenberg continued: “We look forward to demonstrating that competition in the sale of wireless chips has been and remains strong and dynamic, and that Qualcomm’s sales practices have always complied with European competition law.”

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Qualcomm is the world’s leading mobile semiconductor supplier, and also has a highly profitable patent licensing business.

The company is based in San Diego, California, and operates out of 224 locations worldwide.

Qualcomm has an impressive roster of mobile chip clients, including Apple (modems) and Samsung (processors).

Consumers will best know Qualcomm for its Snapdragon series of system-on-a-chip (SOC) processors, which feature in many contemporary flagship smartphones and tablets.

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