Big tech used to be able to stall for time when dealing with EU antitrust cases. The tactic may not work for much longer, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has mentioned returning a long-dormant regulatory tool, called “interim measures,” that could force dominant companies to loosen suspect anticompetitive practices long before officials have proven their case. Her investigation into semiconductor maker Broadcom is a test case.
Officials haven’t used interim measures since 2001, when the European court established a very high threshold for their use. There must be a clear-cut abuse creating a real risk of serious and irreparable harm to rivals.
She is currently finalizing her decision, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks. If the EU rules against Broadcom, the company will have to stop paying incentives the Commission suspects are illegal—a decision it will likely appeal to the European courts.
Full Content: The Wall Street Journal
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