A few days ago, the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the chipmaker of violating competition laws and specifically referring to an agreement that the company signed with Apple. It seems that the Cupertino-company also sued the chipmaker.
Apple has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm, claiming that the company charged excessive royalties “for technologies they have nothing to do with.” Apple reps stated that Qualcomm charged the company five times more in payments than any other patent licensors. Apple said that Qualcomm has “unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with.”
Graphic from Apple's lawsuit against Qualcomm
The FTC claimed that Qualcomm prevented Apple from buying processors from competitors and imposed royalty payments to make it highly unprofitable for Apple to contract other companies.
Qualcomm suggests that Apple is behind FTC’s charges
Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel at Qualcomm Incorporated responded to Apple’s suit.
“While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple’s claims are baseless. Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program.
Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits.”
It seems that Qualcomm openly suggests that Apple was behind the FTC charges and that Apple acted similarly in other parts of the world, meaning that the FTC wasn’t the only regulatory agency to accuse Qualcomm of unfair practices in the past few years. Qualcomm was involved in lawsuits in South Korea, China and received complaints from EU regulators. It remains to be seen how this situation unfolds, but it could stretch over a long period of time