The US chip company Broadcom has been targeted by the EU Commission because of potentially illegal competition practices. A formal investigation had been initiated, the Brussels authorities said.
Broadcom – a former Asian-based company that moved to the US – is the world's largest provider of chipsets for digital decoders, modems and wireless LAN devices.
"We assume that Broadcom […] has introduced contractual restrictions on the exclusion of its competitors from the market," said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The Commission also proposed to impose provisional measures against the company "in order to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable damage to competition".
In concrete terms, the competition authorities accuse the chip giant of illegally seizing seven of its main customers, who make TV digital decoders and modems, in order to purchase almost exclusively Broadcom chips.
The initiation of the proceedings does not prejudge the result, the EU Commission said. In the extreme case, however, fines of billions of euros may be due.