Wednesday, May 22, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Qualcomm Loses U.S. Antitrust Ruling

Ian King and Kartikay Mehrotra (Hacker News, MacRumors):

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh sided with the Federal Trade Commission in a case brought in 2017 accusing the company of anti-competitive practices.

[…]

“Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition” in certain modem chip markets “for years, and harmed rivals, OEMs and end consumers in the process,” the judge wrote. She also found that Qualcomm’s key role in manufacturing modem chips for smartphones using 5G made it likely that its behavior would continue.

Neil Cybart:

Qualcomm must negotiate or renegotiate licensing agreements, license patents to rival chip makers at fair and reasonable prices, be monitored for 7 years.

Florian Mueller:

What was an even greater failure for Qualcomm was the extreme degree to which its senior executives’ testimony contradicted their own handwritten notes, emails, and presentation slides, including but not limited to the question of whether Qualcomm explicitly threatened device makers with a disruption of chipset supplies unless they agreed to certain patent licensing terms. As a result, “the Court largely discounts Qualcomm’s trial testimony prepared specifically for this litigation and instead relies on these witnesses’ own contemporaneous emails, handwritten notes, and recorded statements to the IRS.”

[…]

Later, Apple had to agree to total exclusivity, where any shipment of a non-negligible quantity of devices with non-Qualcomm modem chips on board would have made them lose certain benefits going forward and entitled Qualcomm to a clawback, and that is the basis for one of the FTC’s monopolization claims.

Previously:

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