Story : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10010678/Smart-card-chip-makers-forma
Officials did not name the companies, but the Dutch electronics giant Philips, and the semiconductor specialists Infineon, based in Germany, and Japan's Renesas each confirmed they had received a letter known as a "statement of objections".
It follows the failure of negotiations that aimed to reach a settlement over the allegations, which date back to 2008. A formal complaint by European antitrust regulators can lead to heavier fines.
"The essence of settlement is to benefit from a quicker, more efficient procedure, and to reach a common understanding on the existence and characteristics of a cartel,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
“If that is not possible, the commission will not hesitate to revert to the normal procedure and to pursue the suspected infringement.”