US Federal Trade Commission gets go-ahead for antitrust suit against Qualcomm

Posted:
in iPhone
A U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit leveled against Qualcomm before the start of a separate case by Apple can continue in spite of overtures for a dismissal from the chipmaker, a California court ruled this week.




District Judge Lucy Koh has rejected a Qualcomm motion to dismiss the FTC action, Reuters said on Tuesday. Like Apple, the FTC has accused Qualcomm of anticompetitive behavior in demanding that clients buying broadband chips also pay for patent licenses. The firm has simultaneously refused to issue licenses to rivals, the FTC said.

In filing to dismiss, Qualcomm argued that even thought the FTC's charges were completely true, they didn't represent wrongdoing. Koh specifically rejected that view in her ruling.

A dismissal was also opposed by Intel and Samsung, which earlier submitted amicus briefs on the matter.

The Apple lawsuit, which has yet to go to trial, additionally charges Qualcomm of withholding nearly $1 billion in rebates in retaliation for cooperating with a South Korean antitrust probe. The battle between the two companies has gradually escalated, with Qualcomm filing a countersuit in April, and Apple suppliers withholding royalty payments, presumably missing compensation their client would normally offer.

Despite the ongoing legal action, Apple is expected to use a split of Intel and Qualcomm modems for this year's "iPhone 8."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    Oh, jeez... Not Judge Koh again.
    airmanchairmanpscooter63bshanklkrupppalomine
  • Reply 2 of 9
    gerardgerard Posts: 40member
    Actually Qualcomm is in deep doo; she is a friend of Samsung. Qualcomm pretty much has zero chance of being victorious in my opinion. 
    bshank
  • Reply 3 of 9
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,406member
    Judge Koh is like a bad habit that one can't kick.  It pained me to see her name in another article.
    caliSpamSandwichbshankpalomine
  • Reply 4 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,100member
    For the "oh no Koh" crowd: there are a limited number of judges at the federal level for that part of California, and even fewer with ANY tech understanding at all. You can argue about Judge Koh's opinions and methods all you like, but IIRC she's one of only four judges that even COULD have gotten this case at this level. And for the record, she didn't come off as a particular "friend of Samsung" to me (a reporter covering those cases for years) during the Apple-Samsung trials. Now Judge Cote in the e-book trial, on the other hand ... Anyway, the fact that the FTC thinks Qualcomm is guilty of the described behaviour, and Qualcomm *has admitted it is,* lends tremendous credence to Apple's case against Qualcomm as well (I was keeping an open mind on the whole thing, but Qualcomm is seriously attempting "the Trump defense" of simply claiming that the law doesn't apply to them/it's not illegal if they do it), and I'll be very surprised if Qualcomm wins this case at any level.
    edited June 2017 chiapscooter63bshankfotoformatpalomine
  • Reply 5 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    chasm said:
    For the "oh no Koh" crowd: there are a limited number of judges at the federal level for that part of California, and even fewer with ANY tech understanding at all. You can argue about Judge Koh's opinions and methods all you like, but IIRC she's one of only four judges that even COULD have gotten this case at this level. And for the record, she didn't come off as a particular "friend of Samsung" to me (a reporter covering those cases for years) during the Apple-Samsung trials. Now Judge Cote in the e-book trial, on the other hand ... Anyway, the fact that the FTC thinks Qualcomm is guilty of the described behaviour, and Qualcomm *has admitted it is,* lends tremendous credence to Apple's case against Qualcomm as well (I was keeping an open mind on the whole thing, but Qualcomm is seriously attempting "the Trump defense" of simply claiming that the law doesn't apply to them/it's not illegal if they do it), and I'll be very surprised if Qualcomm wins this case at any level.
    The list of judges who are not utterly incompetent in California is very short. So short it's nearly invisible.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 584member
    AppleInsider said:

    ...

    In filing to dismiss, Qualcomm argued that even thought the FTC's charges were completely true, they didn't represent wrongdoing. Koh specifically rejected that view in her ruling.

    ...
    Qualcomm didn't concede that the FTC's charges were completely true.

    Qualcomm didn't argue that, even though the FTC's allegations are true, they don't add up to the violation of law which the FTC claims they do. Rather, Qualcomm argued that, even if the FTC's allegations were true, they wouldn't add up to the violation of law which the FTC claims they do. In other words, Qualcomm argued that the FTC is wrong on the law even if it is right on the facts - that the FTC's legal theory is flawed, that it fails to allege facts sufficient to support the legal claim it makes. That's pretty much what it had to argue, because at this stage the court has to view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (i.e., the FTC).

    That said, Qualcomm disputes some of the allegations made by the FTC - it believes, in effect, that the FTC is wrong on the facts as well. It will argue to that effect in future proceedings.

    I would add that I think Qualcomm's motion to dismiss is disingenuous when it comes to multiple claims it makes about what the FTC has or hasn't alleged. I'm not in a position to know which side is correct (or being honest) with regard to particular conflicting claims which they make. But I can judge whether they are respectively being honest about what the other claims.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Qualcomm tought that they could get away like with CDMA. Well read on GSM history. CDMA algortithms were not intelectial inventions of anyone else except British intelligence during WWII. Just that patent is own by some creepy companies. I wish it was long before Apple case influenced situation to be in court. It is not about Apple, but longstanding history before even Apple was born and how it ended up in hands of Qualcomm.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 771member
    chasm said:
    For the "oh no Koh" crowd: there are a limited number of judges at the federal level for that part of California, and even fewer with ANY tech understanding at all. You can argue about Judge Koh's opinions and methods all you like, but IIRC she's one of only four judges that even COULD have gotten this case at this level. And for the record, she didn't come off as a particular "friend of Samsung" to me (a reporter covering those cases for years) during the Apple-Samsung trials. Now Judge Cote in the e-book trial, on the other hand ... Anyway, the fact that the FTC thinks Qualcomm is guilty of the described behaviour, and Qualcomm *has admitted it is,* lends tremendous credence to Apple's case against Qualcomm as well (I was keeping an open mind on the whole thing, but Qualcomm is seriously attempting "the Trump defense" of simply claiming that the law doesn't apply to them/it's not illegal if they do it), and I'll be very surprised if Qualcomm wins this case at any level.
    The list of judges who are not utterly incompetent in California is very short. So short it's nearly invisible.
    Cry moar
  • Reply 9 of 9
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,394member
    carnegie said:
    AppleInsider said:

    ...

    In filing to dismiss, Qualcomm argued that even thought the FTC's charges were completely true, they didn't represent wrongdoing. Koh specifically rejected that view in her ruling.

    ...
    Qualcomm didn't concede that the FTC's charges were completely true.

    Qualcomm didn't argue that, even though the FTC's allegations are true, they don't add up to the violation of law which the FTC claims they do. Rather, Qualcomm argued that, even if the FTC's allegations were true, they wouldn't add up to the violation of law which the FTC claims they do. In other words, Qualcomm argued that the FTC is wrong on the law even if it is right on the facts - that the FTC's legal theory is flawed, that it fails to allege facts sufficient to support the legal claim it makes. That's pretty much what it had to argue, because at this stage the court has to view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (i.e., the FTC).

    That said, Qualcomm disputes some of the allegations made by the FTC - it believes, in effect, that the FTC is wrong on the facts as well. It will argue to that effect in future proceedings.

    I would add that I think Qualcomm's motion to dismiss is disingenuous when it comes to multiple claims it makes about what the FTC has or hasn't alleged. I'm not in a position to know which side is correct (or being honest) with regard to particular conflicting claims which they make. But I can judge whether they are respectively being honest about what the other claims.
    Qualcomm is fighting for the status quote in FRAND negotiations, whereas regulators and the courts are moving towards interpretations that are more in line with component basis for IP licensing; no doubling dipping on licenses in the supply chain, and no basis at finished price of the product.
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