FTC says Qualcomm is a monopoly; Samsung agrees

“The US Federal Trade Commission on Friday defended its antitrust lawsuit from January, saying in a legal filing with the US District Court in San Jose, California, that the court shouldn’t dismiss its complaint against Qualcomm,” Shara Tibken reports for CNET. “The group has accused Qualcomm, the world’s biggest mobile chipmaker, of forcing Apple into an exclusive chip deal.”

“Qualcomm maintained a monopoly that extracted high royalty fees and weakened competition, the FTC said,” Tibken reports. “‘Qualcomm uses its monopoly power to make [handset manufacturers] pay a royalty overcharge — a tax — when buying modem chips from its competitors,’ the FTC said Friday. ‘Qualcomm further hampers those competitors by denying them the licenses it promised would be available on FRAND terms during standard- setting. And Qualcomm foreclosed its competitors from selling to a uniquely important customer, Apple, for half a decade using exclusive contracts.'”

“Apple in January filed suit against Qualcomm in the US, alleging the wireless chipmaker didn’t give fair licensing terms for its technology. Apple also said Qualcomm sought to punish it for cooperating in a South Korean investigation into Qualcomm’s licensing practices by withholding a $1 billion rebate. Last month, Apple said it had stopped paying royalties to contract manufacturers for phone patents owned by Qualcomm, starting with devices sold during the March quarter. That dealt a blow to Qualcomm’s financial results.,” Tibken reports. “Samsung, the world’s biggest handset maker, hasn’t filed any lawsuits against Qualcomm, but it did file an amicus brief in support of the FTC on Friday, saying the court shouldn’t dismiss the antitrust suit… Intel, one of Qualcomm’s main rivals in semiconductors, also filed an amicus brief on Friday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The jig is up, Qualcomm.

As we’ve stated previously, Qualcomm’s FRAND abuse must not stand. Qualcomm’s licensing scam — charging a percentage of the total cost of all components in the phone, even non-Qualcomm components — is unreasonable, illogical, and irrational.

What seems reasonable to Qualcomm isn’t to Apple: Royalty dispute ultimately affects iPhone prices – May 8, 2017
Qualcomm to seek U.S. ITC import ban for Apple iPhones – May 3, 2017
Qualcomm slashes profit forecasts as Apple ceases paying iPhone royalties – April 28, 2017
BlackBerry awarded $815 million in arbitration with Qualcomm over royalty overpayments – April 13, 2017
Qualcomm countersues Apple – April 11, 2017
Qualcomm wants FTC to drop their antitrust suit, but it doesn’t mater because Apple’s isn’t going anywhere – April 5, 2017
Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm could last two years – March 3, 2017
Apple widens global patent war, files lawsuit against Qualcomm in the United Kingdom – March 2, 2017
Apple may have paid Qualcomm $40 per iPhone; accounting for 1/3rd of Qualcomm’s revenue – February 10, 2017
Conservative groups ask President Trump to terminate FCC lawsuit over Qualcomm patent licensing – January 27, 2016
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


    1. And Trump did not halt the lawsuit. Why didn’t Obama prosecute his own agents for selling automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels? Was it because he approved their activities?

    2. Congratulations, botvinnik: You know who the President is, even if you don’t know where his predecessor was born or where he goes to church. What does that have to do with when this lawsuit was filed or who should get credit for filing it?

      Actually, neither Trump nor Obama should get the credit. The FTC is an independent commission headed by five Commissioners (although there are only two currently in office), each serving a seven-year term. No more than three Commissioners can be of the same political party. They don’t have to ask the President for permission to file a lawsuit; indeed, it would be highly improper if they did.

      Which is why, Frank, the current President not only cannot take credit for initiating this lawsuit, but cannot take credit for not halting it. That was my point. I find it interesting that a simple statement of fact about when the suit was filed gets down votes.

      Perhaps if you read the Constitution, Frank, you might understand that no President has the power to prosecute anybody. Those decisions are made by peace officers, prosecutors, grand jurors, and judges who swear an oath to the Constitution, not the President.

      Perhaps you weren’t watching Fox News for the confirmation hearings of all the Justice Department officials under every administration since Washington, probably, who promised the Senate that they would follow the law even if doing so conflicted with political directives from the White House.

      The independence of career prosecutors is one of the major bulwarks of our constitutional republic (and I’m not just saying that because I used to be one of them). The notion that any individual prosecutorial decision (as opposed to general policy decisions) might be made personally by the Chief Executive on the basis of pure politics is terrifying.

      Nobody, apart from conspiracy theorists, can show that it has ever happened. I hope we can still say that when the current President leaves office, since he has shown little evidence of understanding why prosecutorial independence is so vital.

    3. The inept and clueless Obama Admin files a rushed through complaint a whopping 2.5 days before Trump is sworn in. WOW.

      Where was he in the last eight years? Oh yeah golfing, Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard and lecturing everyone and the rest of the world how to be good Democrats.

      So, it is safe to say his last minute, clumsy, ill conceived complaint was DUMPED ON the Trump administration. How mighty professional of the petulant president.

      The only people that give a flying f*ck about a 2.5 day technicality are anal retentive Libtards. And of course, got to give you credit for showing up on time with bells on. 😈

      The business oriented Trump Admin WILL pick up the mess left over last minute and get it done! Certainly will not spend the next eight years over taxing, over regulating and overtly demonizing business day and day out in the media. He will work with business to MAGA.

      Results will benefit tech businesses everywhere and especially curry favor with Apple at the end of the day. One of many, to come … 🚀🍎🖕

      1. The Republican that Mr. Trump named as Acting Chairman of the FTC voted against filing the Qualcomm lawsuit. At the time, there were two Democrats who could outvote her. One has since left.

        Because Obama could see no point in appointing FTC Commissioners that the Senate would not confirm while he was a lame duck, the Commission is down to two members for the first time in its 105-year history. Since actions require a simple majority, either Commissioner can veto the other, meaning that the agency is marking time until a full Commission is aboard.

        Over 108 days in, Trump has made no FTC appointments, other than to name the remaining Republican as the Acting Chair. If the two new Republicans agree with her, the Qualcomm lawsuit will be dropped, no matter what the two new Democrats (or President Trump, for that matter) might think.

        1. You did not address my post. Because you can’t admit Obama failure.

          Simply more day to day Democrat Defense for the most inept Obama admininistration. He dumped it on Trump last minute. That clear enough for you?

          But don’t fret. Trump will work with Libtards too and get it done for the greater good …

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