EU: Qualcomm finally wins $1 billion antitrust appeal

According to reports, the EU antitrust regulator "European Commission" confirmed today that it will not appeal Qualcomm's 997 million euros (about 1 billion US dollars) antitrust case, thus ending the two sides. The confrontation has been going on for several years.

The case began in 2018 when the European Commission announced an antitrust fine of 997 million euros against Qualcomm. The reason is that Qualcomm pays Apple a huge fee to use only its chips, which shuts out rivals like Intel.

The European Commission said at the time that Qualcomm's anti-competitive conduct occurred between 2011 and 2016. During that time, Qualcomm paid Apple billions of dollars to use its chips in all iPhones and iPads.

But in June, the General Court, Europe's second-highest court, overturned the European Commission's ruling, saying the 997 million euro fine was invalid. The European Commission has the right to appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest court in Europe.

But the European Commission said today that it will not appeal the ruling of the European General Court. "We have carefully studied the general court decision in the Qualcomm exclusivity payment case and have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court," a European Commission spokesman said in an email.

For Qualcomm, this is undoubtedly a major victory. But at the same time, it was a major blow to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. Over the past few years, Vestager has been investigating the antitrust practices of U.S. tech giants and has made a series of fines.

Vestager will also face her next test on September 14 after the Qualcomm case was dismissed. At that time, the European General Court of Justice will rule on Google's Android appeal.

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