Qualcomm Faces Daily Fine Threat After Losing In EU Probe

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Qualcomm Inc. faces the threat of being fined daily of 580,000 euros ($665,000) after the U.S. chipmaker a court bid to block a European Union order requiring it to provide information for an antitrust probe into the chip company’s sales tactics, losing an appeal against the penalty in an EU court on Monday.

The U.S. chipmaker, which was charged by the European Commission of using anti-competitive methods to freeze out British phone software maker Icera, asked the Luxembourg-based General Court to suspend the order last month.

EU Probe

Qualcomm can’t keep not responding to regulators’ questions because it didn’t show that the EU demand put its business or financial health at risk, EU General Court President Marc Jaeger said in an order on the tribunal’s website.

While San Diego-based Qualcomm can keep up the fight over the issue, it must comply and hand over information to officials.

Qualcomm could be on the hook for penalties “in the range of several millions of euros” for resisting the call for the data, needed in the final stages of an EU investigation into predatory pricing of chipsets that aimed to crush a smaller rival, according to the court order.

The company said the EU competition authority’s demand involved enormous work and significant financial costs estimated at no less than 3 million euros as it involved more than 50 employees and 16 external advisers, according to its court filing. Court President Marc Jaeger dismissed the appeal in a July 12 ruling.

The risk of new fines adds another front to Qualcomm’s battles with regulators over its sales tactics as Apple Inc. ramps up a global dispute with the company, withholding billions of dollars in payments that’s forced Qualcomm to cut forecasts. Qualcomm has fought back by asking the International Trade Commission in Washington to stop versions of the iPhone that aren’t built with its chips from entering the U.S.

Qualcomm Stock Performance

Currently, Qualcomm shares are down 0.19% to $56.70 in today’s session. The firm opened at $56.73 with a current session high of $56.92 and a session low of $56.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $84.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.89, and a dividend yield of 4.02%.

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