The world's top mobile chipmaker, Qualcomm, looks as though it will be facing a European antitrust investigation, according to reports. The investigation is based on a complaint from a Nvidia subsidiary from 2010 which accused Qualcom of anticompetitive behavior. While it isn't uncommon for officials to take years to build a case before launching an investigation, timing here could be an issue for the chipmaker as it is still under investigation in China for similar practices.
The subsidiary in question is British chipmaker Icera, which filed the complaint shortly before being acquired by Nvidia. Details weren't released publicly but reports suggested Qualcomm was accused of exclusionary pricing among other things to push Icera out.
Reports suggest a benchmark case which saw the second highest court in the EU slap Intel with a $1.1 billion euro fine for anticompetitive practices was the main factor to push the Qualcomm investigation ahead. Anonymous sources close to the matter told Reuters "The Commission may open a case after the summer."
Currently both The Commission and Qualcomm have declined to comment on the report at this point. Those found breaching European antitrust laws can be fined as much as 10% of their global revenues, so Qualcomm is likely hoping to dodge this probe the same way it did when Ericsson and other companies accused it of anticompetition practices in 2010.