SAN FRANCISCO — Globalfoundries has asked European regulators to investigate rival chip foundry TSMC, accusing its larger competitor of unfair competition, according to a report by the Reuters news service.
Globalfoundries (Milpitas, Calif.) has claimed to the EU's legislative and regulatory arm, the European Commission, that TSMC unfairly uses loyalty rebates, exclusivity clauses and bundled rebates as well as penalties to discourage customers from switching to rivals, according to the report, which cites an anonymous semiconductor industry source.
A spokesman for Globalfoundries said the company is not surprised to learn that the European Commission is investigating allegedly anti-competitive behavior by TSMC, which has "a virtual lock" on supply.
"It's prudent for the regulator to monitor behaviors more closely and Globalfoundries will naturally support regulatory agencies as they take a closer look at this key industrial sector for Europe and the world," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.
A TSMC spokeswoman told EE Times that it has received no official request from any legal authority related to the allegation.
In an emailed statement, the spokeswoman said: "Our customers always have the freedom to choose, which we respect greatly, and they choose us because of the value we deliver toward their long term success. Any accusation that TSMC threatens or harms customers is absolutely baseless, and we will vigorously defend our hard-earned trust and our most valued reputation."
TSMC is far and away the market leader in the pure play foundry space, with 2016 market share of 59 percent, according to market research firm IC Insights. Globalfoundries is the No. 2 player in the market, with 2016 share of 11 percent, according to research firm.