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Qualcomm found to violate antitrust laws... What's next? | TECH(feed)

Network World | May 23, 2019

A few weeks after settling a lawsuit with Apple, Qualcomm faces a ruling from a federal judge indicating a violation of antitrust laws. What will these mean for Qualcomm and its traditionally high licensing fees? In this episode of TECH(feed), Juliet explains the recent ruling and what this could mean for Qualcomm and the manufacturers that rely on it.

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Hey everyone welcome back to tech feed, i’m juliet beauchamp. A federal court in the united states cracked down on qualcomm for violating antitrust laws, but what will that mean for the chip maker? Stay tuned.

Okay so before i begin--qualcomm is so difficult to say, so please forgive me if it starts to sound jumbled by the end of the video. I warned you. So… on tuesday, a federal judge in california ruled that qualcomm violated antitrust laws by charging sky-high licenses fees to use its tech and squashing competition. Qualcomm will appeal the ruling.

The judge ordered qualcomm to set new licensing fees and endure seven years of monitoring by the federal trade commission. And this ruling was a huge win for the f-t-c… it sued qualcomm for its quote “onerous” patent licensing fees in 2017. Because the tech the company makes, like smartphone modem chips, is considered industry standard, the ftc said it should be licensed on fair terms.

But, as we know, smartphone makers like apple have pushed back on qualcomm’s high licensing fees. In fact, apple and qualcomm recently settled a lawsuit over qualcomm’s high royalties for its chips. That settlement ended in a six-year licensing deal between the two companies.

And as smartphone manufacturers--and wireless providers--push forward and strive to make 5-g a reality, qualcomm’s chips will become increasingly important. It’s speculated that apple will rely on qualcomm’s 5-g chips to power a future 5-g iphone. Mobile chips are, unsurprisingly, really hard to make, so manufacturers rely on third party vendors to power phones. And manufacturers say qualcomm even threatened to cut off supplies or support when they tried to negotiate with the company.
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