Qualcomm’s pending lawsuit against the European Commission over its alleged price-fixing practices has been dismissed by the EU General Court, clearing the way for the company to appeal its fine. The fine was a result of the Commission’s decision in 2015 to fine Qualcomm EUR997 million, or $1 billion. The Commission had found that Qualcomm had abused its dominant position by providing Apple with incentives to only use its chips in the iPhone and iPad. The EU General Court, however, ruled that the case was procedurally flawed and that the Commission’s analysis was invalid.
On June 15 of this year, the EU’s General Court ruled that Qualcomm had abused its dominant position by paying Apple billions of dollars in exchange for using its chips exclusively in its products. This decision represents a major blow to the Commission’s head Margrethe Vestager. This ruling is expected to reopen the legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm.
The EU’s General Court ruled that the incentive payments provided by Apple to its chip suppliers reduced their incentive to switch to rivals. As a result, the payments were ineffective in reducing the competition between the two companies. Qualcomm will now face a trial to determine whether it will appeal the ruling. The European Commission will decide on the fine in June 2022.
The company will now be allowed to appeal the decision. Qualcomm is also entitled to appeal to the EU Court of Justice. If Vestager rules in Qualcomm’s favor, she could have to pay a total of EUR1 billion in fines. The court can also overturn the decision in case of a legal appeal. In this case, Qualcomm’s legal team will file an appeal to the European Court of Justice, which is the highest court in Europe.