Qualcomm faces new EU antitrust probe over chipset rebates

5 November 2015. By Lewis Crofts.

The European Commission is investigating Qualcomm over rebates and financial incentives for selling and marketing chipsets, the company said.

The investigation is “in its early stages” and Qualcomm is cooperating with the antitrust authority, the company said.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, Qualcomm disclosed the European Commission had informed it of the investigation on Oct. 15.

The probe looks at suspicions the company could have been abusing its market power or using restrictive business practices. Both can be illegal under EU antitrust law.

“We understand that the investigation concerns primarily the sale and/or marketing of our baseband chipsets, including alleged conditions relating to the provision by us of rebates and/or other financial incentives,” Qualcomm said in its filing.

“If a violation is found, a broad range of remedies is potentially available to the commission, including imposing a fine and/or injunctive relief prohibiting or restricting certain business practices,” the company said.

“Given that this investigation is in its early stages, it is difficult to predict the outcome or what remedies, if any, may be imposed by the commission.”

Qualcomm declined to give any further comment beyond the investor filing. The European Commission didn’t respond to an email sent outside of office hours.

	Eliot Gao