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EU Hands Qualcomm $271 Million Fine

The European Commission has imposed a fine of €242 million (around $271 million) on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm for behavior it termed "predatory pricing". The EU is alleging Qualcomm at some time abused its market dominance in 3G baseband chipsets by selling them at below production cost with an aim to force competitor Icera out of the market. Such activity is illegal under EU antitrust law.

The EU alleges Qualcomm abused its market dominance between mid-2009 and mid-2011 by selling certain 3G baseband chipsets below production cost to Huawei and ZTE, claiming this was done with an aim of eliminating Icera, Qualcomm's main rival in the 3G baseband market as at that time. An investigation into Qualcomm was first launched by the European Commission in 2015.


The European Commission opened a formal investigation on the 16th of July 2015 and sent out a Statement of Objections [a document stating preliminary concerns of its investigation] on 8 December 2015. Another Statement of…

Facebook unveils Portal, a new video calling device and Echo Show competitor

Facebook 

Facebook has announced 2 new video calling devices dubbed the Portal and Portal+ which will go for $199 and $349 respectively and brings several features for buyers which includes Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology, hands-free voice control, connection with Facebook and Messenger friends and privacy/security features such as a way to completely disable the camera, a camera cover and a 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked.

This features come at a time when Facebook has faced scrutiny regarding data use of its over 2 billion users after the Cambridge Analytica saga and a recent breach which affected 50 million of its users.

Facebook 

As stated by Facebook in its official statement, It won't listen to, view or keep the contents of video calls made on the Portal and will host the device's AI technology locally and not on Facebook servers. The Portal's camera won't also use facial recognition and will only send voice commands to Facebook servers after a stating of “Hey Portal.” by the user. Users will also be able to delete their Portal voice history in the Facebook Activity Log at anytime.

Facebook 

The Portal's Smart Camera stays in action and will zoom automatically to keep everyone in view while its Smart Sound feature enables for minimization of background noise and enhancing of both end-user's voice. Calling will be supported for Facebook friends and Messenger connections who don't use the Portal. It supports group calling of up to 7 people at a time.

It has Amazon Alexa built-in for access to smart experiences which includes ordering for groceries, controlling of smart home devices, checking of weather, sports scores and more. Buyers of the Portal can receive $100 off both devices if purchased together which works out to $298 for both so they can share the experience right out of the box.

Facebook 

They are available for pre-order right now on Facebook, Amazon and Best Buy and will begin shipping next month.


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