February 27, 2024
Federal Trade Commission Wins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm

Federal Trade Commission Wins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm

Posted May 22, 2019 at 2:50pm by iClarified
Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled that Qualcomm is in violation of the FTC Act for unlawfully suppressing competition and extracting excessive licensing fees, reports FOSS Patents.

The judge found that "Qualcomm’s licensing practices have strangled competition in the CDMA and premium LTE modem chip markets for years, and harmed rivals, OEMs, and end consumers in the process."

Although some of the remedies requested by the FTC were too vague, the Commission has practically prevailed on all counts, a resounding victory.

Koh has ordered the following remedies which will have a significant impact on Qualcomm's business:

● Qualcomm must not condition the supply of modem chips on a customer’s patent license status and Qualcomm must negotiate or renegotiate license terms with customers in good faith under conditions free from the threat of lack of access to or discriminatory provision of modem chip supply or associated technical support or access to software.

● Qualcomm must make exhaustive SEP licenses available to modem-chip suppliers on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory ("FRAND") terms and to submit, as necessary, to arbitral or judicial dispute resolution to determine such terms.

● Qualcomm may not enter express or de facto exclusive dealing agreements for the supply of modem chips.

● Qualcomm may not interfere with the ability of any customer to communicate with a government agency about a potential law enforcement or regulatory matter.

● In order to ensure Qualcomm's compliance with the above remedies, the Court orders Qualcomm to submit to compliance and monitoring procedures for a period of seven (7) years. Specifically, Qualcomm shall report to the FTC on an annual basis Qualcomm’s compliance with the above remedies ordered by the Court.

In her 233 page ruling, Koh notes that testimony from Qualcomm's senior executives contradicted their own handwritten notes, emails, and presentation slides. 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."

As expected, Qualcomm has already announced that it will immediately seek a stay of the judgement and an expedited appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

"We strongly disagree with the judge's conclusions, her interpretations of the facts and her application of law," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

More details in the full report linked below...

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Federal Trade Commission Wins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm
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