Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Intel to support FTC suit against rival Qualcomm

RIGHT SALES:Chipmaker Qualcomm makes most of its profits from selling the rights to use its patents on systems essential to all modern mobile phones

Bloomberg

Intel Corp, the world’s largest chipmaker, is to go public with its support for a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc that accuses it of trying to maintain an illegal monopoly in the market for semiconductors used in smartphones.

Intel was to make a filing and publish its reasons for supporting the FTC case on Friday, according to company spokesman Will Moss.

Intel competes with Qualcomm in the market for chips that connect smartphones, including the iPhone, to mobile phone networks.

Qualcomm is trying to fend off a series of legal and regulatory challenges to its business practices around the world, including a suit by Apple Inc, one of its largest customers.

The chipmaker gets most of its profits from selling the rights to use patents that are essential to all modern mobile phone systems. Many of the cases target the link between those license fees and its semiconductor business.

Earlier on Friday, the FTC in a filing in federal court in San Jose, California, urged a judge to reject Qualcomm’s request for dismissal of the agency’s case, saying the allegations “present a forceful antitrust case.”

A hearing is set for June 15.

“The Federal Trade Commission’s latest submission to the court does nothing to cure the fundamental flaws in its complaint against Qualcomm: No coherent theory of competitive harm and no allegations of the type of conduct that the antitrust laws are designed to address,” Qualcomm said in a statement. “The complaint therefore should be dismissed.”

Shares of Qualcomm, the world’s fourth-largest chipmaker, have slumped this year on concern that the growing legal challenges would hurt its main source of profit.

The stock has lost 15 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent gain by the benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index.

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