Qualcomm is a company you may or may not have heard one, but you almost certainly have some of their technology in your home. Particularly if you are the owner of an iPod, iPhone or any other Apple product.
Being the practical exclusive provider of chips for Apple products, it seems that the deal wasn’t as innocent as it appeared.
In a report via the BBC, Qualcomm has been hit with a €997 fine. The reason it seems is that Qualcomm has (or had) a deal in place with Apple that prevented any competitor being able to get their products used. This, no matter how good they were.
Qualcomm has been found to have made billions in payments to Apple in return for the exclusive use of their technology. This deal, in turn, meant that products were provided at rates far lower than their competitors.
It is alleged that the deal “shut out” competitors for more than five years.
Based on their investigations, the EU Competitions Commision sued Qualcomm based on unfair practices. With the ruling successful, the company has been fined accordingly.
They have of course appealed the fine and given the amount that’s hardly surprising. The finding may even bring their other dealings under scrutiny.
The decision comes as the US is also investigating a similar legal case within the US which could see them fined even further.
The reports at the moment are conspicuously quiet as to what effect this could have on Apple themselves and any involvement in the deal.
It’s further bad news for Qualcomm who have recently been fighting off a takeover from rival company Broadcom. If their appeal is unsuccessful, we may well expect to hear the sale in the coming year.
What do you think? Did they act dishonestly in this deal? How deep will the rabbit hole go? Will this be the end of Qualcomm? – Let us know in the comments!
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