Following the referral request by the Autorité and six other European competition authorities (Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden), joined by eight other Member States (Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Portugal), the European Commission has decided to initiate proceedings to examine Qualcomm's takeover of Autotalks on the basis of Article 22 of the European Merger Regulation (see Commission communication of 18 August 2023).
Qualcomm and Autotalks are world leaders in long- and short-range communication technologies, which are increasingly used in the automotive and road infrastructure industries. These technologies, which are based on on-board sensors, can be grouped under the term "Cooperative Intelligent Transport System" (C-ITS), or V2X for "vehicle-to-everything". In particular, they enable vehicles to exchange information with each other and with their environment, in order to improve the driving experience, road safety, the safety of operating agents working on the roads and the overall efficiency of road traffic.
This booming sector represents a strategic challenge for Europe and France. In France, the deployment of C-ITS across the country has been underway for several years, and many private and public sector companies are involved in this strategy, including road managers, vehicle manufacturers, equipment suppliers and telecoms operators.