European Union regulators are investigating manufacturers of microchips for smart cards, looking at possible incidents of price-fixing.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the European Commission may send selected, but unnamed, companies a statement of objections that lists the antitrust concerns.
The case has been ongoing for years, as the European Commission searched the officies of Infineon Technologies AG, STMicroelectronics NV, Renesas Technology Corp. and Atmel Corp. in 2008. In 2009 it investigated companies that make chips for telephone SIM cards, bank cards and ID cards over price-fixing and customer allocation. NXP Semiconductors NV has admitted that it has been involved in the investigations and could be subject to fines.
Should the EU prove that price-fixing is occurring, it can levy fines on companies. While the commission has been trying to negotiated a settlement, those talks have fallen through, which may lead to stiffer fines.