Against all odds, given how tough European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been with the crackdown on several Big Tech shenanigans, Qualcomm has managed to evade a $1 billion fine on allegations it has illegally encouraged. Apple will use its LTE modems at the expense of Intel.
A number of procedural irregularities affected Qualcomm’s rights of defense and invalidate the Commission’s analysis of Qualcomm’s conduct. The Commission has not provided an analysis to substantiate the findings that the payments in question reduce Apple’s incentives to switch to Qualcomm’s competitors to supply LTE chipsets for certain iPad models that will be on the market in 2014 and 2015. will be charged had actually decreased.
The Court’s ruling could be key in the European Commission’s (EC) crusade against Big Tech and the multi-billion dollar fines it has long imposed on companies like Apple or Google.
Qualcomm isn’t out of the woods just yet, as the EU’s antitrust regulator can still appeal the next and final move from the EU’s Court of Justice, though they’re unlikely to completely overturn the lower court’s findings , provided there are some procedural errors of the EC.