Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

European Commission fines Qualcomm EUR 997 million for abuse of dominance

25 January 2018

Prof. Suzanne Rab

The European Commission has fined Qualcomm EUR 997 million, finding that its exclusivity arrangements with Apple infringed Article 102 TFEU.

The Commission has found that Qualcomm holds a dominant position in the worldwide market for 4G baseband chipsets.  It found that Qualcomm had abused that position for five years by agreeing to make significant payments to Apple, amounting to billions of dollars, on the condition that it would exclusively use Qualcomm chipsets in iPhone and iPad devices.

The Commission concluded that Qualcomm’s practices left rivals with no chance of competing for this significant part of Apple’s business.  It appears that the Commission placed considerable weight on documentary evidence suggesting that Apple would have been willing to switch to rivals absent the arrangements.

The fine represents 4.9% of Qualcomm’s 2017 turnover and is the third largest fine that the Commission has ever imposed on a single company.

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team