EU regulators are asking Qualcomm’s competitors about its practices

Qualcomm has been facing some serious regulatory heat in almost every major market in the world these past few years due to the company’s allegedly anti-competitive practices. The European Union has been conducting its own investigation into the company or a few months and has now progressed to the point where it’s asking Qualcomm’s competitors about its business practices. 

EU antitrust regulators are asking Qualcomm’s rivals how the U.S. chipmaker’s business practices and the way it licenses its products affect them, as part of an investigation begun seven months ago, a document seen by Reuters showed. Qualcomm has been feeling the regulatory heat in Europe, the United States, China, Japan and South Korea in recent years as watchdogs focus on its licensing model and its power over patents. The bulk of its revenue comes from selling baseband chips, which enable phones to communicate with carrier networks, but a large portion of its profit comes from licensing patents for its CDMA cellphone technology. The European Commission told Qualcomm in October last year that it was investigating the way it sells and markets its chips, as well as rebates and financial incentives offered to customers, the company said in a regulatory filing last month. In a questionnaire sent to competitors last week, the EU competition authority asked about the impact of various Qualcomm practices such as pass-through rights where phone makers are allowed to use patents already licensed by Qualcomm.

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Written by Connor Livingston

Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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