EU Commission fines Qualcomm for second time over market abuse

FILE PHOTO: A sign on the Qualcomm campus is seen in San Diego, California, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Qualcomm (QCOM.O), the world’s no.1 chipmaker, was fined 242 million euros ($272 million) on Thursday for blocking a rival from the market about a decade ago, its second EU antitrust penalty.

The European Commission, the EU’s competition regulator, accused Qualcomm of predatory pricing between 2009 and 2011 aimed at forcing out British phone software maker Icera, now part of Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O).

“Qualcomm’s strategic behavior prevented competition and innovation in the market,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The Commission fined Qualcomm 997 million euros ($1.1 billion) last year for paying iPhone maker Apple (AAPL.O) to use only its chips, a tactic aimed at thwarting rivals including Intel (INTC.O).

Reporting by Robin Emmott, editing by Philip Blenkinsop