Jonathan Lewis, a partner in McGuireWoods’ Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation Department, commented in a Jan. 24 Law360 story about the implications of the European Commission’s $1.2 billion fine against chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. for alleged anti-competitive practices.
The penalty follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit against Qualcomm claiming the company used its market dominance to force mobile phone manufacturers to agree to anti-competitive licensing terms.
In the article, Lewis commented that the EU’s enforcement action would have little impact on the U.S. litigation. “The U.S. judge is going to call balls and strikes, they’re going to apply U.S. law and see what discovery shows, and make a ruling about whether the case moves forward at the appropriate junctures and whether it goes to trial or not. But this is just noise out there.”
Lewis added that the EU’s fine is unlikely to be a “deal-stopper” for Broadcom’s interest in acquiring Qualcomm: “The bottom line is, any time there are investigations of a target or litigation involving a target, the acquiring company is doing a hard look at it and they’re making their own assessment of whether it’s really material to what they want to do or not.”