Qualcomm turns to European court to overturn fine of more than $250 million in EU antitrust case
U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm returned to Europe’s second court on Monday to try to overturn a 242 million euro ($258.4 million or around Rs. 2,125 crore) antitrust fine, a year after convincing the same court to reject a much heavier sentence in another antitrust case.
The European Commission fined Qualcomm in 2019 for selling its chipsets below cost between 2009 and 2011, in a practice known as predatory pricing, to thwart British phone software maker Icera, which is now part of Nvidia.
Last year, the company scored a major victory when it convinced the court to remove an EU antitrust fine of 997 million euros (about Rs 8,757 crore) in another case related to payments made to Apple for only use its chips in all its iPhones and iPads. models in order to block rivals such as Intel.
Qualcomm lawyer Miguel Rato criticized the Commission’s investigations against the company on the first day of the three-day hearing.
“This is the second episode of the Commission’s campaign against Qualcomm. The first was the exclusivity decision overturned by the Court,” he told the Tribunal.
He said the 3G baseband chipsets targeted in the case only accounted for 0.7% of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) market and therefore it was not possible for Qualcomm to exclude its rivals in the chipset market.
“What price should Qualcomm have charged for each chipset and each quarter to allow it to pass the cost price test?” Rato said.
Qualcomm’s actions showed it was determined to eliminate a rival before it could pose a competitive threat, Commission lawyer Carlos Urraca Caviedes told the court.
“Icera was poised to firmly establish itself in the market segment that was strategically important for future growth. Qualcomm feared that if it did not act, Icera would grow and become a formidable rival,” he said. he declares.
The court will rule in the coming months. This is Case T-671/19 Qualcomm v Commission.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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