Commission’s Big Tech probes may face hurdles in Qualcomm’s wake

Press quote (Politico)
20 June 2022

“The Commission’s process comes across as highly questionable,” said Zach Meyers, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, which counts Qualcomm among its corporate donors. “There will undoubtedly be concerns within the Commission legal service that these problems might have been endemic at the time and could lead to other Commission decisions being vulnerable to appeal.”

Meyers said the court criticism could make the Commission reluctant to return to abuse-of-dominance cases based on rebate payments. The Qualcomm case was built partly on the 2009 Intel decision on rebate payments which is still under appeal at the EU courts.

“The judgment shows that the court imposes a high burden on the Commission to properly analyze the competitive effects of rebates, which is data- and labor-intensive,” he said. “So, we may find the Commission steering away from rebate cases in the future.”