Broadcom is facing a European Union investigation into sales tactics for its components for modems and TV set-top boxes, and the EU is taking the step of pressing to force Broadcom to stop potentially illegal behavior before the probe is finished. The European Commission can levy fines of up to 10% of a company's global revenues.
Exclusivity clauses in Broadcom's contracts have resulted in seven major customers buying chips only from Broadcom, it says.
The preventative moves are the first interim measures in 18 years, and the EU says it's taking that step because it believes Broadcom conduct could result in eliminating competition before it can wrap its examination.
Broadcom has two weeks to respond to the EU, and can request a closed-door hearing on the matter. It says so far the concerns are "without merit" and that it is complying with EC rules.