Wednesday, 18 January 2017 09:41

Anti-trust suit filed against Qualcomm in US Featured


The US Federal Trade Commission has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against processor manufacturer Qualcomm, charging the company with using anti-competitive tactics to maintain its monopoly in the supply of a key semiconductor device.

Baseband processors are used in mobile phones and other consumer products, and manage mobile communications.

In a media release, the FTC alleged that Qualcomm had used its dominant position as a supplier of certain  baseband processors "to impose onerous and anti-competitive supply and licensing terms on mobile phone manufacturers and to weaken competitors".

Some Qualcomm patents define portions of industry standards that are used for mobile connectivity. In such cases, in exchange for having their patented technologies included in the standard, the owners usually agree to license these patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, or "FRAND", terms.

But, the FTC, alleges that Qualcomm was earning higher royalties than it would obtain under FRAND terms by threatening to disrupt the supply of baseband processors.

The FTC's lawsuit alleges that Qualcomm:

  • Maintains a "no licence, no chips" policy under which it will supply its baseband processors only on the condition that mobile phone manufacturers agree to Qualcomm’s preferred licence terms;
  • Refuses to license standard-essential patents to competitors; and
  • Extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties.

"The FTC is seeking a court order to undo and prevent Qualcomm’s unfair methods of competition in violation of the FTC Act," the release said.

"The FTC has asked the court to order Qualcomm to cease its anti-competitive conduct and take actions to restore competitive conditions."

Reacting to the FTC action, Qualcomm said it believed the complaint was based "on a flawed legal theory, a lack of economic support and significant misconceptions about the mobile technology industry".

"The complaint seeks to advance the interests and bargaining power of companies that have generated billions in profit from sales of products made possible by the fundamental 3G and 4G cellular technology developed by innovators like Qualcomm," the company claimed.

"The portrayal of facts offered by the FTC as the basis for the agency’s case is significantly flawed. In particular, Qualcomm has never withheld or threatened to withhold chip supply in order to obtain agreement to unfair or unreasonable licensing terms. The FTC's allegation to the contrary — the central thesis of the complaint — is wrong."

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


WEBINAR PROMOTION ON ITWIRE: It's all about webinars

These days our customers Advertising & Marketing campaigns are mainly focussed on webinars.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 2 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

We have a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News