Feb 6, 2020 - Technology

European Union investigating Qualcomm over 5G

a 5G exhibition at the Qualcomm booth during CES 2019. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Along with quarterly earnings, Qualcomm disclosed on Wednesday that European regulators are investigating whether the wireless giant leveraged its position in the 5G modem business to boost its position in radio frequency chips.

Context: Qualcomm has tangled frequently with regulators around the globe. It has faced previous issues in Europe and a settled probe in China, and is now fighting an unfavorable ruling in the U.S.

Qualcomm said in a regulatory filing that it received a request for information from European regulators on Dec. 3 and is in the process of responding.

  • While it doesn't believe its business practices violate the law, it said "it is difficult to predict the outcome of this matter" and noted it could be fined up to 10% of annual revenue.

Go deeper: Rivals weigh in on Qualcomm's antitrust appeal

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Judge approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge allowed the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint to move forward in a Tuesday decision, ruling against a coalition of state attorneys general who fought against the deal.

Why it matters: The deal, announced back in April 2018, reduces the number of national carriers from four to three, but creates a much larger rival to AT&T and Verizon, and was seen as vital for Sprint, which has continued to lose market share during the deal's long approval process.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Team Trump's 5G misfires

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios


The Trump administration, eager to win the 5G race and outflank China's Huawei, has run one plan after another up the flagpole — but found it hard to keep any of them flying.

Driving the news: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow aired a new approach Tuesday to speed the emergence of U.S.-led alternatives to Huawei. Attorney General William Barr dismissed the same idea Thursday as "pie in the sky."

What they're saying: Judge blesses T-Mobile-Sprint deal

T-Mobile CEO John Legere (left) and Sprint Chairman Marcelo Claure testifying before Congress. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sprint and T-Mobile on Tuesday hailed a federal judge's ruling that should pave the way for their deal to be completed, while opponents worried that consumers will ultimately end up paying more.

Why it matters: The decision turns back a legal challenge from a coalition of state attorneys general that had been the largest remaining hurdle for the deal, though it still requires a few more approvals.