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U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm on Wednesday won its fight against a 997 million euro ($1.05 billion) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators four years ago over a deal to provide chips for Apple’s revolutionary iPhones and iPads, dealing a major setback to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on Big Tech.
The European Commission in its 2018 decision said Qualcomm paid billions of dollars to Apple from 2011 to 2016 to use only its chips in all its iPhones and iPads in order to block out rivals such as Intel Corp.
The General Court, Europe’s second-highest, annulled the EU finding and faulted the EU competition enforcer over the handling of the case.
“A number of procedural irregularities affected Qualcomm’s rights of defence and invalidate the Commission’s analysis of the conduct alleged against Qualcomm,” judges said… “The Commission did not provide an analysis which makes it possible to support the findings that the payments concerned had actually reduced Apple’s incentives to switch to Qualcomm’s competitors in order to obtain supplies of LTE chipsets for certain iPad models to be launched in 2014 and 2015.”
This is the second major defeat for Vestager who in January lost the court’s backing for a 1.06 billion euro fine on Intel 12 years ago for squeezing rival Advanced Micro Devices.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last April:
Margrethe Vestager is a ditz.
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Margaret Vestagitz is a derrrrr
You mean a greedy socialist bureaucrat? I’m with you bro!
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