The future of Qualcomm is now in the hands of one person

The future of Qualcomm is now in the hands of one person
According to CNET, both the FTC and Qualcomm delivered their closing arguments today in front of Judge Lucy Koh, winding up the important FTC v. Qualcomm non-jury trial. FTC attorney Jennifer Milici warned the court that Qualcomm's alleged monopolistic chip selling tactics need to be stopped. Otherwise, she said that the same policies that were used to sell 3G and 4G chips, could continue when Qualcomm sells 5G chips to phone manufacturers. These companies are paying royalties and licensing fees that are too high, claims the FTC.

Milici said that Qualcomm doesn't want to compete based on the performance of its chips and instead makes it difficult for rival chip companies to win business. The burden of proof was on the FTC to prove that Qualcomm did run like a monopoly, using that power in the industry to receive high royalties from phone manufacturers. Additionally, the agency had to prove that other chip makers were negatively impacted, and that Qualcomm is continuing to operate in this manner.

During his closing argument, Qualcomm attorney Robert Van Nest said that the FTC failed to meet its burden. Qualcomm, he said, won its business by out innovating competitors and by offering superior chips. Van Nest said that Qualcomm's rivals weren't hurt by the company's actions, pointing out that Intel now sells modem chips to Apple, Samsung and Huawei have developed their own modem chips, and MediaTek is now the second largest wireless chip supplier in the world.


So now, the future of Qualcomm's business practices is in the hands of Judge Lucy Koh, Yes, this is the same judge who sat on the bench during 2012's Apple-Samsung patent trial. The FTC asked when Koh might render her decision, and was told not to expect a speedy verdict. The judge said, "I'm generally fairly fast, (but) something of this magnitude is going to take longer."

If the FTC prevails, Qualcomm could appeal the decision. But it also could result in Qualcomm changing the way it sell its chips, including the firm's current "no license, no chips" policy. And from here, Qualcomm faces other lawsuits including one filed by Apple and its contract manufacturers. The plaintiffs are seeking $27 billion in damages from the chip maker.

The FTC filed the suit against Qualcomm in 2017 after the company made a deal with Apple to be the exclusive modem chip supplier for the iPhone. The agency said that the deal ran from 2011-2016, and was anti-competitive.

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11 Comments

1. IT-Engineer

Posts: 584; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

I hate this so called judge Lucy. Once an Apple case reaches her, the result is known before hand. Just like the stupid frand patent about rounded icons, she went all in, in apples favor, same here.

6. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

This isn't the Apple case, this is the FTC case. This one QC needs to lose and in the upcoming Apple case QC needs to win

8. IT-Engineer

Posts: 584; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

I know, this is a preparation for the upcoming case with Apple. They are paving the way so Apple can win

21. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Even if there are unjust results from these people, it is still not right to "hate" anybody. I may not agree with "Judge Lucy", but I don't "hate" her either.

2. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

It's not a monopoly, there's intel, exyos, mediatek, huawei. If anything, nvidia has a monopoly on gpus. Amd cannot match their products

31. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Nvidia didn't monopoly, they're just far ahead from AMD. But AMD CEO said they'll comeback to high-end GPU race on 2019, with 7nm Navi.

3. Ichimoku

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

Judge Lucy Koh special ability: Make sure a big tech companies have a nice judgment days.

4. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

This is BS! So if this judge rules in favor of the fruit company that doesn't mean that QC is getting bankrupt! And why all major fruit cases goed to this judge?

7. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

This is not the Apple case, although Apple was the cause of it. Apple complained to the FTC and the FTC investigated QC, hence this case.

13. shm224

Posts: 317; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

If the FTC had a solid case to begin with, it would have been fine. But that is not the case. Apple's allies in the FTC had to wait 'til the last days of the Obama administration -- literally 3 days before the Trump inauguration -- after two of the five members of the FTC panel left and against a vehement opposition by the interim chairman. Then they chose Apple's hometown judge Koh who had demonstrated bias and favoritism for Apple in previous cases.

20. domfonusr

Posts: 1101; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I have a funny feeling that this is going to hurt Qualcomm a lot more than it will hurt Apple, and that we will no longer have any bullies left to oppose Apple in their absolute skyward march to utter dominance... Still the only people who win, in this case, are the attorneys, and, on the other hand, consumers everywhere else lose. Oh well... perhaps that is just the lot in life for people like me...

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