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Samsung And Intel Back FTC’s Antitrust Allegations Against Qualcomm

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Samsung and Intel are supporting the FTC’s findings on Qualcomm, which is being accused of deploying anti-competitive strategies. The FTC is committed to making sure that companies do not become monopolies in their industries, a charge that has been levied against Qualcomm.

Intel and Samsung support the FTC

Intel and Samsung filed amicus briefs with the U.S. courts in support of the FTC’s lawsuit and rejecting Qualcomm’s request to dismiss the case, according to Bloomberg. Intel alleged that Qualcomm is using patents to compel phone manufacturers to purchase the chipsets they need exclusively from it.

“Qualcomm has maintained an interlocking web of abusive patent and commercial practices that subverts competition on the merits,” Intel wrote in its complaint.

Samsung, on the other hand, stated that the chip maker is responsible for the lack of non-Samsung chip phones (those based on Exynos chipsets) in the market.

“Despite having requested a license from Qualcomm, Samsung cannot sell licensed Exynos chipsets to non-Samsung entities because Qualcomm has refused to license Samsung to make and sell licensed chipsets,” the Korean firm said in its filing.

On the same day, the regulator also asked the judge to reject Qualcomm’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. Previously, the FTC accused Qualcomm of using standards-essential patents to force phone makers and other companies in the smartphone chip industry to pay higher royalties and license payments.

The regulator argues that doing so violates its “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” licensing terms. It is also believed that Qualcomm’s agreement with smartphone manufacturers also includes cross-licensing deals for the OEM’s intellectual property and thus restrict litigation against Qualcomm.

In response, on the same day Intel and Samsung filed their amicus briefs, Qualcomm stated that the FTC’s latest representations also do not resolve the fundamental flaws in its complaint: “no coherent theory of competitive harm and no allegations of the type of conduct that the antitrust laws are designed to address.” Based on these flaws, the chip maker again requested that the court dismiss the case, notes SiliconAngle.

Rising troubles for Qualcomm

Investors too are turning wary on the world’s fourth largest chip maker, as it has invited trouble in the form of a series of lawsuits which investors believe will hurt profits. This year alone, the stock has taken a beating of 15%, compared to the 15% gain posted by the benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index.

In January, Apple filed three cases against Qualcomm. In one of the suits, the iPhone maker stated that the chip maker was not happy because it had talked to law enforcement agencies. In another lawsuit, Apple accused the chip maker of taking undue advantage of its position in the market, and in the third, the Cupertino-based company claimed that the chip maker failed to act on its promises to license its standard-essential patents at a cheap price.

Two years ago in China, Qualcomm paid about $1 billion to settle a 14-month antitrust investigation there. In December, South Korea ordered the chip maker to pay $850 million in fines following a three-year investigation.

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