Qualcomm is set to have some of its past actions condemned by European Union antitrust regulators tomorrow on behalf of the European Commission, according to a new report out of the Financial Times. Which, in turn, credits “people familiar with the process” for the details ahead of the official announcement.
As per the report, the Commision is preparing to heavily make known its disapproval of some of Qualcomm's actions and specifically in reference to its relationship with Apple and how between 2011 and 2016 Qualcomm paid Apple for exclusive use of its chips. Actions which the Commission is expected to state not only affected competition, but also innovation. In other words, regulators are expected to rule Qualcomm in breach of antitrust regulations through the use of anti-competitive tactics. As well as making its viewpoint on the matter known, it is expected the Commission will fine Qualcomm for those actions. While it is not known how much of a fine will be imposed on the chipmaker, the Commission is capable of issuing a maximum fine totaling 10-percent of the company’s annual turnover. An amount that could reportedly equate to $2 billion.
Whatever the fine, and regardless of the overall tone of the comments, it is suggested that tomorrow's announcement on the matter may help Apple in the long-term with its own legal battles with Qualcomm. At the same time, it is also being suggested that the condemnation by the Commission may also further exacerbate Qualcomm's stance when it comes to fending off what has clearly become a hostile takeover attempt from Broadcom. Something the company only this morning tried to publicly reassure its shareholders on by asking them to back its own board of directors and financial estimates, and not Broadcom’s. It is also worth noting that a ruling from the Commission will only be one, as the company is facing similar accusations in multiple territories, in addition to the ones that have already been concluded, such as in China and Taiwan. This is of course, while also remaining under investigation in Europe over other alleged market abuses, and all while trying to wrap up its NXP Semiconductors N.V. acquisition.