US: Qualcomm exec says FTC ‘rushed’ antitrust lawsuit before Inauguration

Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs had some choice words on Thursday for the Federal Trade Commission, which filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the semiconductor company of engaging in anticompetitive tactics.

“We were in the process of discussing it with the FTC,” Jacobs told Yahoo Finance anchor Alexis Christoforous during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. “They … rushed the complaint out.”

The lawsuit accuses Qualcomm (QCOM), the dominant supplier of modem chips used by mobile phones, of maintaining a monopoly over those chips through a policy that imposed “onerous” supply and patent-licensing terms on phone partners, which include some of the largest handset makers in the world, such as Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.

In particular, the FTC said Qualcomm strong-armed Apple into using its modem chips in iPhones by lowering its patent-licensing fees. But if Apple purchased modem chips from another chip supplier, the FTC said Apple would face large penalties by losing out on Qualcomm’s rebate payments.

Jacobson contended the FTC “rushed” its lawsuit filing ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration on Friday.

Full Content: Yahoo

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