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Qualcomm has successfully appealed a €1.000bn EU fine over allegations it paid Apple billions of dollars to prevent rivals from supplying the company.

The EU imposed the penalty in January 2018, saying Qualcomm made incentive payments over a five-year period between 2011 and 2016 so that only its 4G LTE chipsets would be used in the iPhone and iPad.

The researchers said these incentive payments amounted to "exclusivity payments that prevented companies like Intel from competing for Apple's business, damaging the market."

Qualcomm Battles

However, the General Court of the European Union reversed this decision, citing problems with the EU investigation.

"The Court bases its conclusions, firstly, on the finding of a series of procedural irregularities that affected Qualcomm's defense rights and, secondly, on an analysis of the anti-competitive effects of the incentive payments," ruled the Court. court, adding that investigators had failed. to argue that the payments had actually reduced Apple's incentives to switch providers.

EU competition authorities can appeal "points of law" to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), Europe's highest court, if they wish.

Ironically, Apple and Qualcomm have sued each other in recent years. Qualcomm has frequently claimed that Apple violated its patents, while Apple said chipmaker Snapdragon was abusing its dominant market position and charging exorbitant fees.

Eventually the two companies resolved their differences, and Apple agreed to pay royalties and enter into a new supply agreement.

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