Intel and Samsung have both added their views to the ongoing lawsuit brought against Qualcomm by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The original lawsuit alleged that Qualcomm has made use of anti-competitive practices to stifle competition and monopolize its position within the market. Since then Qualcomm had looked to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that there is no grounding to the accusations by the FTC. However, the FTC today argued against the dismissal request by Qualcomm, stating that there are multiple arguments to back up the antitrust charges.
In addition to the FTC defending its position, both Intel and Samsung have filed an amicus brief in support of the FTC today. While Samsung is a major customer of Qualcomm, it seems the reasoning behind both the Intel and Samsung grievances is the same - they both view Qualcomm as quashing their ability to compete in the market. Intel who is very much a competitor made it clear that while they are “ready, willing, and able to compete”, the practices undertaken by Qualcomm in the past have resulted in manufacturers having to purchase “the chipsets they need from Qualcomm and Qualcomm alone.” Likewise, it seems Samsung is specifically concerned with how Qualcomm’s technology licensing is holding back the company from being able to further its own in-house chip ambitions. With Samsung going on to note that in spite of requesting a license, Qualcomm has limited Samsung’s ability to “sell licensed Exynos chipsets to non-Samsung entities.”
Intel’s and Samsung’s additions today, will not necessarily result in a legal swing of the outcome of the case, although they are likely to further add pressure. While Qualcomm has made it clear that the FTC has no grounds to progress with the lawsuit, companies adding their own support in this way will likely have an impact in some capacity. If nothing else, it may open the door for more companies to also submit their own amicus briefs in support of the FTC’s claims. Of course this is not the only legal battle that Qualcomm is facing at the moment, as Qualcomm is also being directly sued by Apple, and likewise, Qualcomm is also suing Apple.