Qualcomm loses antitrust appeal, faces daily fines

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Qualcomm loses antitrust appeal, faces daily fines

Chipmaker Qualcomm has lost an appeal against antitrust charges issued by the European Commission, which could leave it facing a massive daily fine.

The American business is accused of using anti-competitive methods to force UK mobile wireless technology firm Icera out of the market in a case that has been going on for more than seven years.

Qualcomm was asked by the Commission to provide information relating to the case, but claimed it would cost at least €3 million (A$4.3 million) to do so, saying that the data, which relates to its sales tactics, involves more than 50 employees and 16 external advisors.

The chipmaker appealed for the order to be suspended, but was denied by the court president, Marc Jaeger, on 12 July.

As reported by ReutersJaeger said in his ruling: "The applicant does not claim that its financial viability would be at risk or that its market share could be affected substantially.

"Furthermore, it does not give any explanation as to why it would be impossible to seek compensation for the alleged financial costs it would suffer by answering the questions."

Qualcomm now faces a potential daily fine of €580,000 (A$845,000) until it produces the information.

This is one of two ongoing anti-trust cases facing Qualcomm in the EU. If found guilty, the company could be fined up to 10 percent of its global turnover for each one.

Qualcomm is also involved in another unrelated court case in the US, where it's being sued by Apple over licensing fees for the chips, which are used by its iPhones. Qualcomm's CEO expects that case to be settled out of court, however, according to Fortune.

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

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