TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT? - Big Tech may be breathing a big sigh of relief right now. Lawyers have labeled the European Commission’s court defeat against chipmaker Qualcomm as an “extremely disappointing loss” for the competition enforcer that could affect its appetite to crack down on tech giants in the future, International’s James Carstensen reports. The U.S. tech company triumphed against a €997 million fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators for allegedly illegal exclusivity rebates with Apple. Europe’s second-highest court annulled a 2018 decision by the European Commission to impose the near-billion euro fine on Qualcomm for its use of incentive payments to Apple in exchange for exclusive use of its chipsets, “preventing competition on the merits.” The court faulted the competition enforcer over “major procedural irregularities,” a development which Jens Peter Schmidt, antitrust partner at Noerr’s Brussels office, called “a major defeat for the Commission.”


“This is a case about beer. It turns on the meaning of the word ‘owned,’ a pint-sized word with stout implications for craft brewers in Texas.”