Connect with us

International Circuit

Qualcomm Suit Among FTC Antitrust Battles Looming In 2019

The Federal Trade Commission’s anti-monopoly lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc. is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 4., regardless of when the partial government shutdown ends.

The commission is accusing the company of violating antitrust laws by employing abusive patent licensing tactics that have allegedly harmed chip competitors, cell phone manufacturers, and consumers.

It’s just one of several ongoing antitrust cases the FTC staff will be working on in 2019 involving companies like Tronox Ltd, Impax Laboratories Inc., and ViroPharma, a unit of Shire Plc.

Qualcomm Trial

The Qualcomm trial is expected to proceed even if the partial government shutdown stretches to Jan. 4, FTC spokesman Mitchell Katz told Bloomberg Law. The FTC said in a Dec. 18 court filing that it had no plans to file a motion to stay proceedings in the event of a funding lapse.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., ruled on some of the key issues in the case in a Nov. 6 summary judgment decision that favored the FTC. She held that Qualcomm was required to license patents under commitments the company made to industry groups to provide licenses on “fair and reasonable” terms.

The FTC argues that Qualcomm’s refusal to license patents to competitors like Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. was part of a monopoly scheme.

“The FTC will still have to prove at trial that the refusal to deal with rivals likely helped Qualcomm maintain a monopoly in modem chips,” Richard Brunell, vice president and general counsel of the American Antitrust Institute, a competition advocacy group in Washington, told Bloomberg Law.

While central questions remain, the summary judgment ruling strengthens the FTC’s position ahead of the trial and could also make Qualcomm more willing to settle. Both sides asked Koh to defer her ruling in an October court filing, saying they were discussing a possible settlement, but she denied the request. – Bloomberg Law




Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2023 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!