Broadcom aims to settle EU antitrust probe with offer to scrap exclusivity deals
U.S. chipmaker Broadcom, one of the biggest suppliers of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth modems and SoCs for TVs around the world, has offered to scrap its exclusivity deals with TV and modem makers in an attempt to settle an ongoing EU antitrust investigation against the company. The European Commission kicked off the antitrust probe back in June last year in response to Broadcom’s deals with six companies to buy chips exclusively or almost exclusively from it. At the time, the EU competition enforcer had ordered the company to stop such deals until the end of the probe.
According to a recent report from Reuters, Broadcom is now pledging not to offer any incentives to TV and modem makers to encourage them to purchase more than 50% of their chips and modems from the company for their global operations. Broadcom claims that its offer addresses the EU’s concerns and expects the Commission to close the investigation before the end of the year. In a statement regarding the matter, the company said, “In these uncertain times, we welcome the opportunity to avoid protracted litigation and to resolve the investigation without recognition of liability or the imposition of a fine.”
The report further adds that the European Commission is now seeking feedback before deciding whether to accept Broadcom’s offer, which would be valid for five years and without a finding of infringement by the company. In case the EU decides to continue with the antitrust probe and finds Broadcom guilty of breaching EU rules, the company could face a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover. It’s also worth noting that Broadcom had previously defended its practices at a closed-door hearing in August last year, which was attended by representatives from Intel, MediaTek, Quantenna, a unit of ON Semiconductor and Humax. We’ll keep you updated as the matter progresses.