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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49 Comments

1. IT-Engineer

Posts: 534; 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: 1500; 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: 534; 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: 1083; 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: 3127; 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: 165; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

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

4. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; 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: 1500; 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: 283; 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.

5. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This trial is between FTC and Qualcomm, yet people are swearing Apple (which was only a witness that gave exactly the same testimony as Samsung). You have got to love the stupidity of these comments =))))!

9. mootu

Posts: 1500; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Apple was the instigator though, they complained to the FTC which brought on this case. QC does need to alter it's practices, the way they licence is not fair. Apple needs to be carefull as well though as even if the FTC win there is no law that QC has to licence modems to Apple, only that if they did then they would have to charge a fair price.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

As long as the patents are essential, QC has to license to anyone that wishes to get access to them.

11. mootu

Posts: 1500; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

That only applys if there is only one seller and it is a monopoly. There isn't only one player in the market, Intel, Mediatek etc, exist. Apple has a choice of who to buy from but QC has a choice who it sells to. Don't forget Huawei makes modems with the exact same tech but they do not sell to anyone else.

12. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That is exactly what is happening in US: most of 3G and 4G tech used by the carriers is only compatible with QC 3-4G patents.

15. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

What nonsense is this? Qualcomm's IP is part of the same wireless STANDARDs everyone has access to.

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

That's why the price to license its patents should be set under FRAND regulations - and this is what the trial is all about.

22. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. QC's rates are FRAND compliant. Why do you think the FTC came up with the sleazy term "elevated", rather than "violated" FRAND commitment when describing QC licensing fees. Further, what's at stake is not the royalty rate, but rather, the royalty basis -- ie, component-level vs. system-level licensing. It's the wireless industry de facto practice -- and has been for the past 30 years -- to use the end-user-device as the royalty basis. Apple doesn't want to pay and is now using the FTC to fight QC and the industry to change it so I could pay less.

24. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

How is frand compliant a price based on the final price of the entire device for the exact same product? In your country the bricks cost is determined by the cost of the house you're building?

27. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

A FRAND commitment is a contract governed by ETSI -- to whom Qualcomm declared their IP -- under French Law. The system-level licensing fee has been the industry customary practice for about 30 years now pioneered by the likes of Nokia, Moto, etc. Your ignorance , or Apple's, on the subject matter doesn't justify a new licensing regime. This is a fair system that allows low price devices to be made and sold at affordable prices and foster competition -- Apple can't stand it because it's under pressure from all price points now.

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Talking about ETSI (E comes from European) when the trial is in USA shows a deep level of stupidity on your part. In EU Qualcomm complies with frand licensing, in USA they don’t and that’s why FTC took them to court. You got the picture now?

32. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Your understanding of legal system is also quite poor or non-existence. In a recent ruling against HTC vs Ericsson, the court ruled tha FRAND Commitment Does Not Require Licensing at Chip Level: E.D. Texas. In other word, Apple/FTC's case is essentially a contractual dispute and the same law governing FRAND commitment applies everywhere consistently and has been upheld as late as Jan 2019. Please stop your nonsense. You don't sound anything remotely as smart as you think you are.

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This is another thing that FTC is questioning in this case: Qualcomm charges the chipmakers to use its ip and then charges the phone manufacturers, because they use the tech inside their chips. Of course phone manufacturers don’t have to have contracts with Qualcomm to use modems based on QC ip, but built by other companies (like MediaTek) - that’s a contract between QC and MT, but QC asks for a percentage of the price of the phone, every time a phone with a modem that has QC ip - no matter who has built it: MT, Intel, Samsung etc - is being sold in US.

35. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Are you 12? or a retard? Why do you keep spouting out misinformation about a case you know nothing of? As I said before, NOBODY in the wireless business licenses their IP to baseband makers. PERIOD. The license fee is collected only once, at the end of the manufacturing chain, with the handset makers. I repeat NO chipmaker or other suppliers licenses QC's patent. MT executive already testified that they were never approached by any SEP holders for royalties during this trial.

37. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This is the second time you've been warned for rudeness, next time you're going to talk to yourself. You can find the whole documentation of this case, updated since 17 Jan 2019, you just have to know where to look for it. QC licensed its patents to OEMs (phone manufacturers) a well as manufacturers of baseband processors (such as MediaTek). FTC has found that the rate paid by OEMs was "significantly higher" than the rate paid by other licensors of SEPs (pag. 14). One of the OEMs declared that QC was getting money from 2 licenses for the same thing: one from the chip manufacturer - that had to pay QC a license to build modems - and one to use that chip to access the 2G, 3G, 4G networks in USA (that are build, using QC IP). The document has 32 pages, it should be an easy read for a smart guy such as yourself.

38. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Why do you even bother citing something that does not back up your BS and which you clearly did not read or understand? Did you not read the testimony quoted from Mediatek (#36) -- Mediatek was never licensee of any wireless SEPs by QC, Nokia or any SEP holders. FTC/Apple never made such absurd claim. The FTC/Apple's claims are opposite of what you claim. The FTC complaints that QCOM is in violation of FRAND because (1) QCOM refused to license their SEPs to baseband OEMs, such as Mediatek. (2) Mediatek and other baseband OEMs likewise testified that they were never offered a license. QC's defense is in turn is based on the decades-long industry customary practices and recent FRAND rulings that ETSI FRAND commitment doesn't require licensing to baseband OEMs. I don't want to have this unproductive discussion with someone who clearly is dishonest, ignorant, and is into creative writing -- that is so typical of a Apple fanboi.

39. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

CDMA2000 is owned by Qualcomm, dumb ass, and Via - the company that MediaTek licensed technology from - paid licenses to QC for every chip that was being sold in USA. MediaTek is not an OEM, dumb ass - "OEM" is a phone manufacturer (or Original Equipment Manufacturer, if you're such a dumb ass that you don't know what the term means). QC also refused SEPs to Intel and Samsung. This trial has nothing to do with Apple, dumb ass.

40. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

wake up retard. the cross-licensing deal between QC and Via was not for the CDMA2000 SEP portfolio. Their customers still had to pay QC royalties separately. Even Samsung who was a leading 4G SEP holder and had a cross-licensing deal couldn't get license at component-level -- Meizu, Its only customer for Exynos with integrated LTE, also had to pay QC for license. That as the basis of anticompetitive findings by South Korea, Taiwan and the EU regulators. The FTC's complaint which you cited earlier, has that spelled out quite clearly ¶57 and $59 on -- QC never granted license to anyone. Who is the FTC's complainer on rebates for exclusivity? Apple, of course, who as it turned out lied about their bullying and demanded monetary compensation for "the opportunity" to deal with Apple, not by Qualcomm. And who is the sole "OEM" complaining about "double-dipping"? Apple! of course and Apple is the pretty much the only one buying separate baseband chips from QCOM. duh. Now, GTFO.

42. Leo_MC

Posts: 7204; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Sod off! You can blabber all you want for all I care.

41. shm224

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

wake up retard. the cross-licensing deal between QC and Via was not for the CDMA2000 SEP portfolio. Their customers still had to pay QC royalties separately. Even Samsung who was a leading 4G SEP holder and had a cross-licensing deal couldn't get license at component-level -- Its only customer for Exynos with integrated LTE also had to pay QC for licenses. That as the basis of anticompetitive findings by South Korea, Taiwan and the EU regulators. The FTC's complaint which you cited earlier, has that spelled out quite clearly ¶57 and $59 on -- QC never granted license to anyone. Who is the FTC's complainer on rebates for exclusivity? Apple, of course, who as it turned out lied and demanded monetary compensation for "the opportunity" to deal with Apple, not by Qualcomm. And who is the sole "OEM" complaining about "double-dipping"? Apple! of course and Apple is the pretty much the only one buying separate baseband chips from QCOM. duh. Now, GTFO.

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