Qualcomm wins huge antitrust ruling against FTC

Qualcomm scores a big court case after the Ninth Circuit overthrew the original ruling regarding its “non-license, no-chips” practice.

This is a huge win for the chipmaker as the world is transitioning into the 5G era. The originally ruling issued in May 2019 said that Qualcomm is engaging in an anti-competitive practice. However, the recent ruling sides with the tech giant.

Judge Callahan of the United States Ninth Circuit did not agree with the argument of the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC claims that the chipmaker is violating anti-competitive laws with regards to its fees.

No license, no chips

Essentially, this practice levies a tax when a partner smartphone manufacturer uses a different chipset. This forces the manufacturer to pay Qualcomm royalties for different patents, even if they do not use its products. According to the FTC, these practices make rival products more expensive because of the additional fees.

What the regulators think is that the chipmaker has total control over the selling of wireless chipsets. The company is a well-known supplier of wireless chipsets. With the world transitioning into 5G, the recent ruling is sure to improve its business.

This is not the only legal battle that the company faces. Both in Asia and Europe, the company is facing various anti-trust complaints from other tech giants. The company is leveraging its huge market share in order to force companies to abide by its terms.

In a statement acquired by the New York Times, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said that the ruling:

“Validates our business model and patent licensing program and underscores the tremendous contributions that Qualcomm has made in the industry.”

The future of 5G

The ruling is a huge win for Qualcomm, especially with the current trend turning towards 5G adoption. Several telecommunications manufacturer are fast-tracking their adoption of the new technology. This means that they are looking towards companies that can supply them with the necessary hardware.

The company is in the frontline of the 5G revolution. It is currently lobbying the United States government to lift the trade ban over Huawei.

The Chinese tech giant is one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Therefore, there is a huge potential for big business deals when it comes to chipsets.

However, the government currently bans American firms from doing business with Huawei.
It appears that the future is looking bright for Qualcomm. If the company snags another victory over the Huawei trade ban, it will be a great year for the chipmaker.

Featured image courtesy of Sundry Photography/Shutterstock

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