EU regulators charge Qualcomm with additional violation in pricing case

FILE PHOTO: Qualcomm's logo is seen at its booth at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2015 in Beijing, China, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators on Thursday charged Qualcomm QCOM.O with a new violation in a case where the U.S. chipmaker has been accused of selling chipsets below cost to drive out Nvidia Corp NVDA.O unit and British phone software maker Icera.

“The supplementary statement of objections sent today focuses on certain elements of the “price-cost” test applied by the Commission to assess the extent to which UMTS baseband chipsets were sold by Qualcomm at prices below cost,” the European Commission said.

The EU enforcer had in 2015 accused the world’s No. 1 chipmaker of abusing its market power to thwart Icera between 2009 and 2011, following a complaint from Icera.

Qualcomm can face a fine up to 10 percent of its worldwide turnover if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules. It was hit with a 997-million-euro ($1.2 billion) penalty in January this year for paying Apple AAPL.O to use only its chips in a bid to squeeze out rival Intel Corp INTC.O and others.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek