Chipmaker Qualcomm on Wednesday won its battle against a 997 million euro ($1.05 billion) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators four years ago, marking EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on Big Tech as a big deal. Shocked. The European Commission said in its 2018 ruling that Qualcomm paid Apple billions of dollars from 2011 to 2016 to use only its chips in all of its iPhones and iPads to block rivals such as Intel Corp. Also Read – Qualcomm Aims To Beat Apple’s M2 Chips With Apple Engineers Yes, You Heard That Right!
Qualcomm’s fine comes after Vestager over anti-competitive practices on companies ranging from Alphabet unit Google to banks and truck makers. Apple, Amazon and Facebook are being investigated. The Court of Commons, Europe’s second largest, overruled the EU’s finding and blamed the EU’s competition promoter for handling the case. Also Read – Call of Duty Mobile to BGMI: The Indian eSports market is still in its early stages and is set to witness significant growth
“Several procedural irregularities affected Qualcomm’s rights of defense and invalidated the Commission’s analysis of the alleged conduct against Qualcomm,” the judges said. Also read- Nothing Phone (1) will be launched on July 21
“The Commission did not provide an analysis that would make it possible to support the conclusion that related payments led Apple to switch to Qualcomm’s competitors in order to obtain LTE chipset supplies for certain iPad models launched in 2014 and 2015.” The incentive was really reduced.” ” They said.
The EU competition promoter can appeal matters of law to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), the highest court in Europe.
The commission said it would carefully study the decision and its implications and consider its next steps. Qualcomm did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
“The high-level finding is that the Court is asking the Commission to be extremely cautious in pricing abuses,” said Asimakis Kominos, a partner at the law firm White & Case.
“The commission will now be very hesitant to initiate investigations into such cases unless they are really sure,” he said.
It is the second major defeat for Vestager, which in January lost court support to squeeze rival Advanced Micro Devices to a €1.06 billion fine on Intel.
Vestager’s next trial is on September 14, when the General Court will rule on Google’s challenge against a record 4.34 billion euro antitrust fine imposed for using its Android mobile operating system to take out rivals.
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