Qualcomm might be using political campaign-style attack tactics against Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2018
Definers Public Affairs, the firm Facebook hired to go on the offensive against critics after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, might be leading an attack campaign targeting Apple at the behest of Qualcomm, new evidence suggests.

Qualcomm
Qualcomm building in San Diego, Calif.


On Wednesday, The New York Times published a scathing expose on Facebook's response to revelations that the social network was compromised, and user data leveraged to sway political sentiment.

Part of the report focused on Facebook's business dealings with Definers, a Washington, D.C., firm specializing in "oppo," or opposition research. The consultant applies political campaign tactics to corporate relations, a strategy that only recently made its way to Silicon Valley when Definers set up an office there under the leadership of Tim Miller.

Facebook contracted Definers to lead a lobbying effort against its critics, including George Soros, in light of the Cambridge Analytica kerfuffle. The social media giant ended its relationship with the firm on Wednesday following the Times report.

Now it appears Definers is, or at least was, conducting a similar campaign against Apple at the direction of Qualcomm or a company with stake in an ongoing legal battle between the two companies.

As noted by the Times, a conservative news site with ties to Definers called the NTK Network published a number of articles critical of both Apple and Google. While Apple CEO Tim Cook is an outspoken critic of data mining business models, making him a potential enemy of Facebook, Definers said its work on Apple was funded by another, unnamed tech company.
Mr. Miller acknowledged that Facebook and Apple do not directly compete. Definers' work on Apple is funded by a third technology company, he said, but Facebook has pushed back against Apple because Mr. Cook's criticism upset Facebook.
While not confirmed, Qualcomm could be that third company.

Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in a bitter legal battle over patent licensing, royalties, unsavory business practices and other contentious issues, with actions spanning courts, regulatory agencies and trade commissions worldwide. Qualcomm, which maintains the disagreement boils down to favorable IP pricing, has been angling for a settlement, but Apple is reportedly "gearing up for trial."

Business Insider first linked Qualcomm to Definers on Thursday and claims Miller pitched story ideas involving Apple and Qualcomm to its reporters starting late last year. One suggestion was in regard to fines Apple was incurring with the legal action.

In June of last year, some five months after Apple fired the first shot with a $1 billion lawsuit claiming unfair licensing terms, Qualcomm sought a court order forcing Apple suppliers to continue royalty payments as the legal battle raged. Apple had instructed contract manufacturers to withhold payments on grounds that the chipmaker participates in unfair licensing practices, a decision that has added up to $7 billion in unpaid fees as of October.

Shortly after Qualcomm's request, AppleInsider, and this reporter personally, was contacted by Miller about a potential connection between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Apple's action against Qualcomm. Specifically, Miller hinted at some level of coordination between an unnamed FTC commissioner, Apple, Intel and Samsung before Apple filed its suit against Qualcomm in early 2017.

Miller did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    So Mikey you are saying that you were hit on by this Tim Miller probably working ultimately for Qualcomm before the suit was filed?  So he was trying to get you to find or create a story of collusion between the subsequent parties to the suit.  Your paragraph beginning with”Shortly after...” confused me a little, my problem.

    (The suit as I’m using it here is any legal action between the parties, not a single swing in the sue game).
  • Reply 2 of 11
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,898moderator
    I’d say a PR firm is not doing its job well if in the attempt to create stories it becomes the story.  Anyone considering this firm should consider that.  
    chasmchiamagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    So Mikey you are saying that you were hit on by this Tim Miller probably working ultimately for Qualcomm before the suit was filed?  So he was trying to get you to find or create a story of collusion between the subsequent parties to the suit.  Your paragraph beginning with”Shortly after...” confused me a little, my problem.

    (The suit as I’m using it here is any legal action between the parties, not a single swing in the sue game).
    After Apple's suit was filed, and Qualcomm's countersuit in April. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Qualcomm denial coming in 3...2...1...
    magman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,050member
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    magman1979mac_dogwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 11
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 561member
    goes to show you everyone has their own agenda, including analysts, yet most people believe everything they read
    magman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    chasm said:
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    Well said. I thought FB would have turned themselves around by now, but under their current leadership it doesn't seem possible. They are incompetent at best. It looks like Qualcomm bit the hand that feeds and Apple is going to continue bringing more and more expertise in-house to cut them out of future business much as possible.
    magman1979AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 223unconfirmed, member
    aaronkalb said:
    chasm said:
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    Well said. I thought FB would have turned themselves around by now, but under their current leadership it doesn't seem possible. They are incompetent at best. It looks like Qualcomm bit the hand that feeds and Apple is going to continue bringing more and more expertise in-house to cut them out of future business much as possible.
    Don't bite the Apple that feeds you. I've seen Apple destroy companies that betray them.

    Even Google is begging for mercy, paying Apple BILLIONS a year to allow them to stay relevant on iOS.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,711member
    aaronkalb said:
    chasm said:
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    Well said. I thought FB would have turned themselves around by now, but under their current leadership it doesn't seem possible. They are incompetent at best. It looks like Qualcomm bit the hand that feeds and Apple is going to continue bringing more and more expertise in-house to cut them out of future business much as possible.
    Don't bite the Apple that feeds you. I've seen Apple destroy companies that betray them.

    Even Google is begging for mercy, paying Apple BILLIONS a year to allow them to stay relevant on iOS.
    Beggars!


    Very wealthy beggars...
    :)
    radarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 11
    chasm said:
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    Yeah, I wonder how his wife feels about it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    aaronkalb said:
    chasm said:
    Qualcomm reeks of desperation, and Facebook's management is simply dispicable -- and always has been (FB started off originally as a site similar to "Hot or Not," let's remember).
    Well said. I thought FB would have turned themselves around by now, but under their current leadership it doesn't seem possible. They are incompetent at best. It looks like Qualcomm bit the hand that feeds and Apple is going to continue bringing more and more expertise in-house to cut them out of future business much as possible.
    I know someone who worked (as a UX designer) closely with the engineers. Such gargantuan egos and so fragile. She said it was a shit show. 
    watto_cobrabadmonk
Sign In or Register to comment.