BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust authorities opened on Friday an investigation into U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm's <QCOM.O> $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors <NXP.N>, concerned that the merged company may squeeze out rivals and jack up prices.
The combined entity would also have the ability and the incentive to change NXP's intellectual property licensing practices, in particular the NFC technology, by bundling this to Qualcomm's patent portfolio, the European Commission said.
The EU watchdog also voiced concerns about reduced competition in semiconductors used in cars.
Reuters reported on June 2 that Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple <AAPL.P>, may face a lengthy EU investigation after it declined to offer concessions to address the bloc's concerns in a preliminary review.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska)