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Judge Rules in Favor of FTC in Qualcomm Antitrust Suit

Judge Rules in Favor of FTC in Qualcomm Antitrust Suit

FOSSPatents reports Judge Lucy Koh has ruled in favor of the FTC in its antitrust suit against Qualcomm. Koh concluded that Qualcomm business practices were anticompetitive.

Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that the San Diego-based modem chip maker violated the FTC Act, and has ordered the following remedies:

(1) Qualcomm must not condition the supply of modem chips on a customer’s patent license status and Qualcomm must negotiate or renegotiate license terms with customers in good faith under conditions free from the threat of lack of access to or discriminatory provision of modem chip supply or associated technical support or access to software.

(2) Qualcomm must make exhaustive SEP licenses available to modem-chip suppliers on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and to submit, as necessary, to arbitral or judicial dispute resolution to determine such terms.

(3) Qualcomm may not enter express or de facto exclusive dealing agreements for the supply of modem chips.

(4) Qualcomm may not interfere with the ability of any customer to communicate with a government agency about a potential law enforcement or regulatory matter.

(5) In order to ensure Qualcomm’s compliance with the above remedies, the Court orders Qualcomm to submit to compliance and monitoring procedures for a period of seven (7) years. Specifically, Qualcomm shall report to the FTC on an annual basis Qualcomm’s compliance with the above remedies ordered by the Court.

While an appeal by Qualcomm is almost certain, Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents believes the company has little chance for a successful appeal.

The decision comes a little over a month after a settlement between Apple and Qualcomm was announced, which resulted in a six-year licensing agreement and a multi-year chip supply deal. Apple’s hand was believed to have been forced, due to its need for 5G modems for the 2020 iPhone lineup.

It isn’t known whether Apple or Qualcomm had any idea of which way the judge was leaning during their negotiations, which would have affected each company’s negotiating leverage.

The full text of the ruling can be found here.

(Via 9to5Mac)