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US: Broadcom chip unit targeted in widening US antitrust probe

 |  May 20, 2019

US antitrust officials investigating Broadcom are significantly broadening their scrutiny to focus on whether the chipmaker abused its dominance to sell some of its most important semiconductor products, according to documents and a person familiar with the probe.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking evidence that Broadcom’s conduct harmed competition in Wi-Fi and switch-chip markets, according to a civil investigative demand issued last week and obtained by Bloomberg News. The agency is looking into whether the company forced customers to deal with it exclusively.

The document, which is akin to a subpoena, shows that enforcers are now targeting the vast majority of Broadcom’s chip business. The company had disclosed an investigation last year that it said was “immaterial.”

Broadcom is one of the biggest suppliers of Wi-Fi technology used in smartphones and home routers and gateways, giving its chips a crucial role in the way the consumers get online. The company’s switch chips, the heart of devices that control traffic in computer networks, are used in machines by companies including Cisco Systems and Huawei.

Broadcom and the FTC declined to comment. The company’s stock fell as much as 7.3%, extending an earlier decline that followed the US government’s action against Huawei, which hurt shares of chipmakers that supply the Chinese company.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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