Earlier this year, we heard that the European Commission had begun investigating Qualcomm after receiving some anti-trust complaints. Now, it seems that investigation has wrapped up and the smartphone chip maker giant is facing antitrust charges.
Right now, the EU Commission is also trying to pin similar charges on Google after receiving some complaints about both the Google Search engine and Android OS.
In a statement (via: Reuters) about the charges, the EU Commission said that following its preliminary investigation, it has come to light that Qualcomm has: “illegally paid a major customer for exclusively using Qualcomm chipsets and sold chipsets below cost with the aim of forcing its competitor Icera out of the market, in potential breach of EU antitrust rules.”
That is pretty serious, as forcing a competing company out of the market and paying off smartphone makers can certainly be considered anti-competitive behaviour, something that the EU takes a pretty strong stance against.
KitGuru Says: While elements of the antitrust complaints against Google are questionable, the situation with Qualcomm right now seems much more serious based on these allegations. Microsoft faced a hefty fine just for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, so I can only imagine that the fine for paying off customers and forcing competition out of the market would be much worse.