FTC win over Qualcomm questioned

Court of Appeal begins hearings.
As you know, in May last year, the judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Lucy Koh, who considered the lawsuit filed against Qualcomm by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2017, found that Qualcomm violates antitrust laws. In her view, Qualcomm illegally stifled competition in the smartphone chip market and used its dominant position to introduce excessive licensing fees.

Of course, Qualcomm could not arrange this decision, so the company expressed a categorical disagreement and filed an appeal. This week, the appeals court began a hearing.

A panel of three judges examined the decision and heard oral evidence, trying to understand how Qualcomm could violate antitrust laws, even if it used its dominant position in the chip market to obtain higher license fees.

According to the preliminary opinion of the judges, there is no violation, since patent holders have the right to evaluate their own patents and there is no reason to consider certain payments to be inflated. If Qualcomm products are superior to competitors, it is obvious that the company is entitled to rate them higher.

The final decision on the appeal may take from a few months to a year.

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