EU Court Orders Reduced Payment of Legal Fees to Qualcomm

Europe's second-highest court has ordered that EU authorities must pay Qualcomm legal fees totaling 785,857.54 euros ($851,634).
Europe's second-highest court has ordered that EU authorities must pay Qualcomm legal fees totaling 785,857.54 euros ($851,634).

Europe’s second-highest court has ruled that EU regulators must pay 785,857.54 euros ($851,634) in legal fees to Qualcomm, significantly less than the 12 million euros initially sought by the U.S. chipmaker following its successful appeal against an antitrust fine.

General Court’s Decision:

The General Court, based in Luxembourg, deemed Qualcomm’s requested amount of 12 million euros for legal fees “manifestly excessive,” stating that the number of hours worked and hourly rates cited in Qualcomm’s claim were disproportionate.

Qualcomm submitted its legal invoice to the European Commission in 2022 after the General Court ruled in favor of the U.S. company in its challenge against a 997 million euro EU antitrust penalty issued in 2018. The court also mandated the regulator to cover Qualcomm’s legal expenses.

Dispute Over Billing Amount:

While Qualcomm insisted on the validity of its 12 million euro claim, the European Commission contested this figure, proposing a significantly lower amount of 405,315 euros.

In its ruling dated February 29, judges emphasized that courts solely consider the hours necessary for legal proceedings, regardless of the number of lawyers involved. 

They criticized Qualcomm’s lack of specificity in presenting hourly rates for specific tasks and questioned the justification for the claimed expenses.

Revised Fee Allocation:

The court determined the final fees, setting them at 754,190 euros for law firm Quinn Emanuel and 31,667.54 euros for economic consultancy Compass Lexecon/FTI. 

However, it rejected Qualcomm’s request for 302,658.10 euros related to legal services from law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore, as these were for documents from U.S. proceedings and not directly relevant to the EU litigation.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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