US: Apple-Qualcomm settlement doesn’t end FTC antitrust claims

Apple’s and Qualcomm’s decision to end all litigation between them now raises the stakes in the Federal Trade Commission’s suit against against the chip manufacturer, reported Bloomberg Law.

A jury trial had started between the two companies April 15 in a federal court in San Diego but will no longer proceed since Apple agreed April 16 to give Qualcomm a one-time payment to settle a two-year dispute over patent royalty rates. Apple didn’t disclose the payment amount.

The next legal battle for Qualcomm is set to unfold in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which will decide if Qualcomm violated antitrust laws by forcing companies to pay steep patent royalty rates.

US District Judge Lucy Koh’s opinion will play an even more critical role now that Apple and Qualcomm have settled, Eleanor Tyler, Bloomberg Law’s senior legal analyst, said.  “Every case that drops out makes her take on the issue more important,” she said.

Koh can now issue her opinion without fearing a clash with Qualcomm’s litigation with Apple , Thomas Cotter, professor at the University of Minnesota Law school, said. “The settlement now removes the possibility of conflicting opinions,” he said.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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