Qualcomm Tries To Get FTC's Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed

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Qualcomm requested a dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in January. The company on Monday filed a motion for dismissal with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, arguing that the FTC made no valid argument to support its accusations of Qualcomm being guilty of anti-competitive practices and actively working to hurt its competitors. The company's 30-page motion filing goes on to state the FTC's lawsuit contains no "factual allegations" that would have any validity in the court of law, concluding the case shouldn't end up in a trial at all.

The FTC originally accused Qualcomm of actively creating and maintaining a monopoly on smartphone chips due to its broad patent portfolio that it allegedly refused to license to handset manufacturers unwilling to buy its chipsets. This led to Qualcomm earning extremely high royalties from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) while simultaneously discouraging phone makers from using competing chips, the FTC claims. The federal agency went on to argue that many of the patents Qualcomm used to force OEMs into choosing its chips over competing alternatives are of the "standard-essential" variant, meaning they cannot be circumvented by anyone in the industry and should thus be licensed under reasonable terms instead of being used for establishing a monopoly. The FTC's antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm concludes that the San Diego-based tech giant repeatedly refused to license its essential patents to rivals, thus violation anti-competitive regulations.

The U.S. federal agency isn't the only antitrust watchdog that recently accused Qualcomm of anti-competitive practices, seeing how the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission (FTC) did the same just last month, not long after the company already paid close to $2 billion in antitrust fines in Korea and China. It remains to be seen how the San Jose-based federal court will rule on Qualcomm's motion for dismissal, though the case will likely end up in court, most industry watchers agree. The FTC itself has yet to publicly comment on Qualcomm's recent request and possibly won't even do that seeing how the agency's previous statements indicated the Commission is relatively certain it has a strong case against Qualcomm.

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