BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday ordered U.S. chipmaker Broadcom (O:) to suspend certain business deals with TV and modem makers while they investigate whether these agreements are aimed at thwarting rivals.
“This will prevent serious and irreparable harm to competition likely to be caused by Broadcom’s conduct, which prima facie infringes EU competition rules,” the European Commission said.
The competition enforcer’s concerns center on Broadcom’s deals with six TV set-top box and modem makers which result in the companies buying various chips exclusively from Broadcom.
The Commission said Broadcom has 30 days to comply with the order, which is valid for three years but could end earlier if there is a final decision on the case before that.
Interim measures are rare and are only issued if the Commission has reason to believe that companies will squeeze out or marginalize rivals before it can wrap up its investigations which can take several years.
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