Chip maker Qualcomm has been slapped with a €997m (£869m) fine by the EU for using anti-competitive business practices to sell its LTE baseband chipsets.
The huge fine represents 4.9 per cent of Qualcomm's 2017 turnover.
The European Commission's antitrust regulators found that Qualcomm gained an unfair advantage over its rivals by paying Apple billions of dollars to exclusively use its chips.
Commenting on the fine today, commissioner Margrethe Vestager said:
"Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance," she said.
"These payments were not just reductions in price - they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.
"This meant that no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were. Qualcomm's behaviour denied consumers and other companies more choice and innovation - and this in a sector with a huge demand and potential for innovative technologies."
The California-based vendor is the world's largest producer of LTE baseband chipsets.
However, the EU claims that Apple submitted evidence to suggest that it "gave serious consideration to switching part of its baseband chipset requirements to Intel", adding that "Qualcomm's exclusivity condition was a material factor why Apple decided against doing so."
Qualcomm certainly has a history of being accused of illegal competition practices from global regulators.
In February 2015, it coughed up $1bn (£705m) in China over alleged abuses of its dominant position in the smartphone chips market there.
At the start of 2017, South Korea issued a fine of $927m - the largest ever levied in the country - accusing Qualcomm of charging unfair licensing fees for its many patents.
A matter of months later, in October 2017, Taiwan fined the vendor NT$23.4bn for violating antitrust rules in the country "for at least seven years".
To add to its rap cheat, Qualcomm is also currently being sued by Apple in a wide-ranging legal battle over nearly $1bn in patent royalty rebates that the chip maker allegedly withheld from Apple.
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