Conservative groups ask President Trump to terminate FCC lawsuit over Qualcomm patent licensing

“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


    1. Let’s see…under Obama Qualcomm’s licensing scam was exposed and a lawsuit against it filed.

      Now under Trump conservative groups want to let Qualcomm off the hook. We will see if Trump goes along.

      Bottom line: if you agree with Apple, then you disagree with these conservative groups.

        1. Sorry you need to re-read the article. The complaint was filed on Jan 17, 3 days before Trump took office. Even the conservative groups call it a “Midnight complaint” because it was filed in the last few days of the Obama administration.

          Of course this makes sense, since such a complex case would need time to be developed before any complaint was filed.

          Now conservative groups…in other words groups aligned with Trump in the election and on virtually every policy issue, now want to let QComm off the hook and are appealing to Trump.

          So I say again: it was the Obama FCC that filed the complaint against QComm. It is conservative groups aligned with Trump who want to terminate that action. If you side with Apple then you are against the argument of the conservative groups. We will see where Trump ends up.

            1. I do know that “botvinnik” is rather un-persuadable. But I do want to correct the record for this forum when he puts out an utter falsehood…an “alternative fact.”

              Interesting that he has yet to reply to my reply to him, where I proved him wrong.

  1. Politics should not play in this lawsuit. If Qualcomm is not providing FRAND license at FRAND then let the investigations begin to find if it is. We need to start doing what is best for America and damn the Politicians.

      1. No Botty, the EPA is about real world facts, the science and research to back them up …and…though I know you’re not capable of engaging except in a mindless way – something far beyond petty point scoring political claptrap, the earth we live on.
        So you and your “Sea of love” idolising Trumpbot denialist zealots can go fester in your swamp of deceitful self harm and ponder that this is one subject above all your other abominations…that you Cannot. Ever. Win.

          1. The former POTUS got far more popular votes and electoral college votes than “Landslide Donny.” But you don’t like to discuss anything that might burst your bubble, do you?

          1. I think that most of the world could use a bit of that counseling…

            Only a few days after Donny’s first vacation and the world is already traumatized.

            Hope Texans enjoy paying for the wall that almost no one wants via tariffs on imports. What a clueless bastard.

            1. “…the wall that almost no one wants via tariffs on imports.”

              Trump approval rating: 59% (Rasmussen, 1/26)
              Libtards have lost The White House, The Senate, The House, The Supreme Court, The Governorships and The State Houses..

              America disagrees with you. You have been utterly rejected.
              This is reality.

            2. Not quite on the “America disagrees with you” bent…rather, a highly manipulated reality has been formed based on Republican gerrymandering/resistricting, voter suppression and stacking the courts with conservative judicial activists. In other words once again Republicans demonstrate what it means to be unpatriotic in all matters of self-interest/preservation.

              Regarding polls…as usual, you’re cherry picking. BTW the Rasmussen poll may have been limited to “likely voters [who watch Fox News]” 😉


            3. …and I have some more rejection for you, you’re gonna lose even more congressional seats in 2018…so keep right on talkin’ lies, Obama has single-handedly destroyed his own political party. even Soros doesn’t have enough pay-off money to save it.

              BTW Rasmussen picked Clinton over Trump.

            4. Um the poll you’re citing is a sigficant outlier, even Fox has him below 40%. In fact every poll is below 40 except Rasmussen. If they were at say 45? I’d believe it but 59 is not correct. Rasmussen tends to heavily weight self identified conservative voters, and republicans in particular. Their polling typically leans heavily to the right, until they have a correction once larger more established firms like Gallup set the median numbers. Rasmussen on the right is the equivalent of PPP on the left, throw them both out and you’ll get real numbers. Fox is actually very good at polling and they have him at 36 with a margin of +/- 1 right where everyone else does. And they have president Obama at close to 60 just everyone else too.

            5. No I didn’t, but every poll was basically right and within error margin. She ended up winning the popular vote by 2.9% (3,000,000 votes) which is where all the national polls were. There were several state polls that were way off, but the national polling average was correct. RCP had the polling average around 3%. I said the same thing about Rasmussen then as I did now, and what I remember saying was “if they even have her in the lead then the numbers are probably right”

            6. Go to rcp and look at the job approval average. Obama is 57 when leaving on average and tied with Reagan for highest leaving office. Trumps average is 41 approval, if you toss ppp, quinnipiac, rassmuasen, and just look at Gallup it’s steady at 44 +/- 2

            7. No, he’s very popular. She wasn’t, there were a lot of people who voted for Obama twice and would have voted for him again if he were running. The difference in the election, which trump won by 73000 votes split 4 states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and NC) were all states Obama won twice before by large margins. She ended up with more popular votes than Obama did in both elections, but they were distributed differently. Also the minority turnout wasn’t as high for her as it was for Obama, that translates to the loss. You can like him or not, and you do not, but most of the country does like him, just as most of the country liked and still likes bill Clinton. Both of obamas wins 365-173 (08), and 332-206 (2012) were much larger than this years win, and the inauguration is the indicator 1.8 & 1000000 for each inaugural of Obama, vs 250,000 for the current president. When polled Americans would rather have Obama himself have a third term than elect secretary Clinton, and he continues to be very popular.

              By comparison in 2009 after the transition and when he was inaugurated his approval averaged 80%, it fell over the course of the year but then stabilized in the mid 50’s for 5 years. There are hundreds of polls from all over the map that supports all of this, and go to rcp and read them. Your in the camp that hates president Obama, and that’s fine, we’re never going to agree on everything. But this alternative facts nonsense has to stop…. if you see what you believe instead of believing what you see it is a recipe for disaster.

            8. As for the congressional majority republicans hold… it is directly due to the 2010 midterms which they narrowly won and gerrymandered the districts. Democrats the last 3 congressional cycles have gotten more votes nation wide but are still the minority in congress due to the construction of the districts.

            9. Ok fine, but by that logic it means you couldn’t accept president Obama and were butt hurt for 8 years… so cut the hypocritical bullshit.

        1. “Oh yeh, wanting companies to not poison us is soooo political.”

          The EPA did not fine itself.

          No heads rolled.

          No perp walks.

          No one in DC’s EPA sentence to jail time!

          The EPA’s non-elected, non-accountable misfits of an abusive government agency needs serious looking over!

          So you and your “Sea of love” idolising Trumpbot denialist zealots can go fester in your swamp of deceitful self harm and ponder that this is one subject above all your other abominations…that you Cannot. Ever. Win.


          For. The. Win.

  2. Seriously.
    Seriously doubt any politician has a clue to anything tech related. So “furious” is a word that Qualcomm lobbyist told them to use.
    Whom ever spends the most on lobbyists and line pockets, gets the most “furious” and determined politicians.

    End. Of . Story.

  3. I don’t want to get into a partisan fight on this, but why are conservatives siding with Qualcomm here? What conservative principal is served by taking Qualcomm’s side?

    I don’t have a political lens on this issue. Just an economic one. It seems to me Qualcomm is abusing its position. Their license made sense when we had to choose between candybar and flip phones. But with makers like Apple and Samsung adding in more expensive processors, coprocessors, memory, secure chips, fingerprint readers, fancy camera systems, waterproofing, large touch screens, etc, it seems like they are getting money for parts of the product they have no part in making possible.

      1. Given that most every action Obama has taken has been anti-American, anti-jobs, pro-Muslim, pro-Iran, pro-dictator, anti-Israel, crony capitalist and/or debt doubling, I can see why people are suspicious about any new Obama action — especially actions taken in the last hour of his administration.

    1. Conservatives are no longer principled conservatives, but political partisans blinded to facts and reality.

      As others have noted, it’s probably just to be reflexively anti-Obama. Of course, today’s conservatives are easily bought so perhaps QComm has given them lots of money.

      Conservatives also like to allow businesses to commit abuses.

      No matter what the answer, it’s clear there is huge political rot among conservatives and Republicans these days.

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