“A coalition of conservative leaders and groups are furious over what they call the Federal Trade Commission’s ‘midnight complaint’ against smartphone chip manufacturer Qualcomm Inc., and they are pushing President Donald Trump to do something about it,” Brendan Bordelon reports for Morning Consult. “A letter sent to the White House on Thursday by several conservative groups and individuals — including Americans for Tax Reform and the American Conservative Union — asks that President Trump take ‘immediate steps to terminate’ the antitrust complaint.”

“Thursday’s letter says Trump could address the Qualcomm complaint by appointing Republican commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen as permanent chair of the FTC,” Bordelon reports. “The president named Ohlhausen acting chair on Wednesday. The conservative groups said that’s a good start, but they suggested the move was insufficient.”

“Katie McAuliffe, the executive director at Digital Liberty and one of the signatories of the letter, told Morning Consult Thursday that because the FTC is an independent agency, the Trump administration isn’t able to take any special action to reverse the FTC complaint outside of nominating new commissioners,” Bordelon reports. “She said the letter is meant to push the White House to quickly appoint a second Republican commissioner to serve on the FTC after Democrat Edith Ramirez resigns on Feb. 10. Even then, McAuliffe said a Republican-led FTC would have to go through a relatively complex process to withdraw the Qualcomm complaint.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The FTC lawsuit was filed by a 2-1 vote, with Republican Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen writing a strongly worded dissent,” Joe Mullin reports for Ars Technica. “The FTC lawsuit was quickly followed by a legal attack by Apple, which filed lawsuits against Qualcomm in the US and China. Apple’s lawsuit claims Qualcomm tried to ‘extort’ $1 billion in exchange for preventing Apple from talking to Korean regulators, who slapped Qualcomm with an $850 million fine last month. The complaint also says that Qualcomm’s patent-licensing practices have resulted in Apple being overcharged ‘billions.'”

“It’s unclear where President Trump stands on patent issues and on the patent reforms that big industries—including tech, retailers, and restaurants—have been seeking for years now,” Mullin reports. “Qualcomm’s business model relies on patent licensing. During Congressional debates on patent reform efforts, Qualcomm has opposed most proposed changes to patent laws. The company believes that reform efforts would weaken patents and potentially its own negotiating position.”

Mullin reports, “The FTC under the Trump administration is expected to have three Republican and two Democratic commissioners once it’s fully staffed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In 2017, Qualcomm’s licensing scam — charging a percentage of the total cost of all components in the phone, even non-Qualcomm components — is ludicrous.

Qualcomm’s ridiculous licensing scheme simply has to go!

Qualcomm CEO fires back at Apple: Bring it on – January 26, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm in China seeking 1 billion yuan – January 25, 2017
Qualcomm comments on Apple’s lawsuits in China – January 25, 2017
Apple’s rebellion against the ‘Qualcomm Tax’ – January 24, 2017
Despite lawsuit, Qualcomm wants to keep doing business – January 24, 2017
Why Apple, the FTC, and others are attacking Qualcomm’s royalty model – January 24, 2017
Here are the most damning parts of Apple’s blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm – January 23, 2017
Apple’s legal assault on Qualcomm part of iPhone margin grab – January 23, 2017
Qualcomm says Apple’s claims are ‘baseless’ in response to Cupertino’s $1 billion lawsuit – January 21, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion over onerous licensing practices – January 20, 2017
Qualcomm exec says FTC ‘rushed’ antitrust lawsuit before President-elect Trump’s inauguration – January 19, 2017
FTC alleges Qualcomm forced Apple into iPhone LTE chip deals – January 18, 2017
FTC charges Qualcomm with monopolizing key smartphone chip; alleges extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties – January 17, 2017
After eating Intel’s mobile lunch, Apple could next devour Qualcomm’s Baseband Processor business – January 20, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s going to dump Intel modems if they keep lagging Qualcomm – December 5, 2016
Yes, Apple is throttling download speeds for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Verizon and Sprint versions – November 19, 2016
Apple’s modem choices may leave Verizon iPhone users feeling throttled – November 18, 2016
Tests show iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modem perform significantly better than those with Intel modem – October 20, 2016