Tech World: Qualcomm’s mammoth $1.2bn fine, SoftBank’s latest investment and more

Welcome to Tech World, your quick roundup of some of the top technology news stories from across the globe.

This month, we bring you the latest on Qualcomm’s mammoth $1.2bn fine, SoftBank’s latest tech investment and more.

For this episode’s Hot Topic interview, we spoke to Pragasen Morgan from EY about the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

First though, here are your top international stories.

Qualcomm’s huge fine

Qualcomm, the world’s biggest producer of mobile phone chips, has been handed a mammoth €997m fine by the EU after paying Apple to use its product.

The EU’s Competition Commission said Qualcomm had “prevented rivals from competing in the market”, but the chip maker is looking to appeal the fine, after saying in a statement that it strongly disagreed with the decision.

SoftBank’s latest deal

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has backed used car marketplace AUTO1 Group to the tune of €460m.

The investment, of which approximately half will be made through the issue of new shares, values the Berlin-based company at €2.9bn.

AUTO1 Group will use the cash to support its continued growth and to expand overseas.

Google’s expansion plans in France

Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed the tech giant’s investment plans in France in a blog post this month.

First, Google will be expanding its office in Paris – acquiring or renting other buildings around its current space and connecting them.

The move will see the tech behemoth take up an additional 6,000 sq metres of office space to house 1,000 employees in the French capital.

Perhaps most significantly, though, Google also said it was going to create a new AI research facility.

The firm will also create Google Hubs with local partners around France, starting with Rennes and with three other locations due to be announced.

Facebook ‘acquires’ Confirm

Over in the US, Facebook is reportedly buying Boston-based software company Confirm, specliased in authenticating government-issued ID cards.

A source close to the acquisition told Reuters that Confirm, which claims to have 750 clients, will begin winding down its operations and its employees will join Facebook in Boston.

The terms of the acquisition have not yet been disclosed and it’s not known how the tech giant is looking to apply the company’s technology.

What we do know, though, is that Facebook has previously said it would boost its plans to verify the identities of people who purchase election-related ads on its network.

That’s it for our top global tech news roundup, but keep watching to see this episode’s Hot Topics interview. We spoke with Pragasen Morgan from EY about the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

That’s all for this episode.