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The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into US chipmaker Broadcom which it suspects of restricting competition via a number of exclusivity practices in markets where it holds a leading position such as for systems-on-a-chip, front-end chips and wifi chipsets.
Earlier this year press reports suggested US authorities are broadening their own antitrust probe of the company.
FTC - Investigation - Broadcom - January
The FTC opened its investigation into Broadcom back in January 2018.
Commenting in a press release announcing the antitrust action against the chipmaker, the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said: “TV set-top boxes and modems are part of our daily lives, for both work and for leisure. We suspect that Broadcom, a major supplier of components for these devices, has put in place contractual restrictions to exclude its competitors from the market. This would prevent Broadcom’s customers and, ultimately, final consumers from reaping the benefits of choice and innovation. We also intend to order Broadcom to halt its behaviour while our investigation proceeds, to avoid any risk of serious and irreparable harm to competition.”
Commission - Statement - Objections - Conclusions - Reasons
The Commission has issued a formal statement of objections in which it sets out its preliminary conclusions and explains its reasons for seeking interim measures, saying (emphasis its) it believes that:
The formal investigation could take several years to conclude and the Commission notes that the outcome is not prejudiced by preliminary findings nor any interim measures.
Commission - Information - Broadcom - Range - Practices
“The Commission has gathered information indicating that Broadcom may be implementing a range of exclusionary practices in relation to these products,” it writes. “These practices may include (i) setting exclusive purchasing obligations, (ii) granting rebates or other advantages...
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