European anti-monopoly regulators fined Qualcomm $1.23 billion for making payments to Apple in exchange for exclusively using Qualcomm smartphone radio chips in iPhones between 2011 and 2016.
Qualcomm said it disagrees with the decision and will immediately appeal to the General Court of the European Union.
The large fine comes as Qualcomm is embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Apple and global antitrust regulators over its business practices surrounding patent licensing.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Qualcomm already has been fined by regulators in China, South Korea and Taiwan, and it’s facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The European Commission ruled that Qualcomm abused its market dominance in 4G LTE baseband chips – which link smartphones to cellular networks. Qualcomm’s 4G LTE chip were exclusively used in iPhone 4 through iPhone 6 models.
“Qualcomm paid billions of U.S. dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals,” said European Union Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement.
“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.”