Qualcomm avoids billion-dollar fines in lawsuits against Apple and Intel

Giovanni Santa Rosa

Qualcomm avoids billion-dollar fines in lawsuits against Apple and Intel

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Qualcomm is not required to pay a fine of more than $ 1 billion. The company was fined after an investigation revealed that it had bribed Apple to adopt its 4G modems and not competitors like Intel. The court found that there were procedural flaws and the evidence was inadequate.

European Commission research has found that Qualcomm paid Apple between 2011 and 2016 to secure the supply of LTE modems for iPods and iPhones. Thus, manufacturers like Intel do not threaten their dominance.

The case seemed easy to prove and in 2018, the European Union body was fined 997 billion euros (approximately US $ 1.05 billion), alleging that the conduct contained anti-competitive practice. Qualcomm, however, disagreed with the sentence.

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The chip company filed an appeal in the European Union General Court and the court upheld it. In the opinion of the judges, there were procedural errors and the analysis of the European Commission was inadequate.

“Various procedural irregularities have affected Qualcomm’s defense rights and the Commission’s analysis of the company’s alleged conduct is invalid,” the judges said. Reuters .

They added: “The commission did not provide analysis to support the conclusion that payments in this case actually reduced Apple’s incentives from Qualcomm to its competitors with the availability of LTE chipsets for some of the iPad models released. 2014 and 2015.”

The European Commission lost again

This is the second defeat the European Commission has suffered in court in disputes with major technology companies.

In January 2022, a court ruled against the fine imposed on Intel in 2009. Fined more than 1 billion euros, the company is thought to have adopted anti-competitive methods to exclude AMD from the x86 chip market.

Until then, the European Commission had not lost an antitrust case for more than 20 years.

The company, which has been counting on Danish Margaret Wester as European Commissioner for Competition since 2014, stands out for its toughness with technology companies.

For example, Google has already been fined € 1.49 billion for damaging competing advertising services. Facebook had to pay 110 million euros for fraud in the WhatsApp purchase. Qualcomm received a second fine of 242 million euros.

With information: Reuters, 9to5Mac, MacRumors.

Qualcomm avoids billion-dollar fines in lawsuits against Apple and Intel

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