Feeds

Brussels accuses chip makers of collusion

Smart card silicon market under investigation

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A five-year investigation in Europe into collusion into the smart card market is heating up, with the European Commission issuing a 90-page “statement of objections” to big-name vendors including Philips and Infineon.

The European Commission complaint centres around the silicon used for SIMs, chipped passports, bank cards and other “smart card” devices. While the EC didn't name the companies involved, Reuters reports that Philips and Infineon have acknowledged receiving letters from the Commission.

The agency raided a number of companies in 2008 on the basis that it believed vendors in the market were allocating customers, exchanging commercially sensitive information and fixing prices. The accusations date back to 2003/2004. Since then, according to Reuters, talks with the companies to settle the case have broken down, leading to the charge.

Bloomberg also names STMicroelectronics, Atmel, NXP Microelectronics, Renesas and Samsung as being involved in the probe.

STMicroelectronics and Atmel were raided in 2008, but say they have yet to receive the Commission's “statement of objections”. NXP was spun off out of Philips and is Europe's largest chip maker, but the commission says it will not be issuing a statement of objections against that entity.

If the EC's accusations are proven, companies involved could be fined as much as 10 per cent of their global revenue. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.