01 Aug 2022 Cases

Qualcomm wins appeal against $1 billion antitrust fine

1 minute read


In June 2022, the EU General Court ruled against a decision by the European Commission, thereby annulling a €997 million fine on Qualcomm for abuse of dominance. Compass Lexecon provided economic advice to Qualcomm and its counsel during all stages of the proceedings.

In January 2018, the European Commission imposed a €997 million fine on Qualcomm for abuse of dominance concerning alleged exclusivity payments made to Apple in relation to the supply of LTE chipsets (case AT.40220). The decision was comprehensively annulled by the EU General Court based on a number of procedural errors, as well as errors in the Commission’s substantive analysis of the anti-competitive effects of payments. Coupled with the Court’s ruling in Intel, the judgment marks a fundamental reshaping of the application of Article 102 TFEU to pricing practices, particularly the application of the As-Efficient Competitor test. At the same time, it emphasises the need for regulators to properly take into account economic analyses.

Compass Lexecon advised Qualcomm on market definition, dominance, efficiencies and assessment of the alleged exclusivity payments’ capability to foreclose. Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon EMEA, Jorge Padilla, provided testimony at the appeal stage.

Dr. Padilla was supported by a team including Kadambari Prasad and Thomas Bowman. The team worked closely with Miguel Rato, Marixenia Davilla and Mark English from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in Brussels.

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.