© intel Components | May 17, 2017
Intel backs FTC on allegations against Qualcomm
But why? Back in January 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint charging Qualcomm with using anticompetitive tactics.
The FTC alleges that Qualcomm has used its dominant position as a supplier of certain baseband processors to impose anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers and to weaken competitors. According to the complaint, “by threatening to disrupt cell phone manufacturers’ supply of baseband processors, Qualcomm obtains elevated royalties and other license terms for its standard-essential patents that manufacturers would otherwise reject. These royalties amount to a tax on the manufacturers’ use of baseband processors manufactured by Qualcomm’s competitors, a tax that excludes these competitors and harms competition. Increased costs imposed by this tax are passed on to consumers.” Qualcomm responded immediately, stating that it “believes the complaint is based on a flawed legal theory, a lack of economic support and significant misconceptions about the mobile technology industry. We look forward to defending our business in federal court, where we are confident we will prevail on the merits.” Now chipmaker Intel decided to add to the discussion and filed an Amicus Brief in opposition to Qualcomm’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint. “Because the FTC’s attempt to shed light on Qualcomm’s anticompetitive practices is of great importance to the industry as a whole.” Several other companies and trade associations seem to be of similar mind and have also filed briefs supporting the FTC.
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