FILE PHOTO: Broadcom Limited company logo is pictured on an office building in Rancho Bernardo, California May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Broadcom has offered to settle an EU antitrust investigation into its exclusivity deals with TV and modem makers, EU antitrust regulators said on Monday, a move that would stave off a possible hefty fine.
Broadcom, which makes chips to power smartphones, computers and networking equipment and is a major supplier to Apple, found itself in EU competition enforcers’ crosshairs over its deals with six companies to buy chips exclusively or almost exclusively from it.
That triggered an investigation in June last year and an order to stop such deals until the end of the probe on whether such practices were aimed at squeezing out rivals.
Broadcom has now pledged not to offer incentives to TV and modem makers to encourage them to acquire more than 50% of their chips and modems from the company for their worldwide or European production.
The European Commission said it would now seek feedback before deciding whether to accept the offer which would be valid for five years and without a finding of infringement by the company.
Broadcom defended itself at a closed door hearing in August last year where participants included Intel, MediaTek, Quantenna, a unit of ON Semiconductor and Humax.
It could face a fine up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of breaching EU rules.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens