Intel Claims Qualcomm’s Patent Licensing Practices “Strangled Competition” in Modem Chip Market

Intels says that Qualcomm’s business tactics “strangled competition” and forced the former out of the market.

That’s according to a new report from Reuters, which explains that Intel said as much in a brief filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Qualcomm is hoping to overturn an antitrust decision against it.

“In a 233-page decision issued in May, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose wrote that Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices ‘strangled competition’ in parts of the market for modem chips that connect smartphones to mobile data networks,” reads the report. “She ordered the San Diego-based company to renegotiate licensing agreements at reasonable prices.”

Former rivals in the modem business, Intel sold its modem chip business hours after Qualcomm settled a major legal battle and signed a chip supply agreement with Apple in May. Now, Intel says it was forced out of the market due to Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices

“We invested billions, hired thousands, acquired two companies and built innovative world-class products that eventually made their way into Apple’s industry-leading iPhones, including the most recently released iPhone 11,” Steven R. Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel, wrote in the post.

“But when all was said and done, Intel could not overcome the artificial and insurmountable barriers to fair competition created by Qualcomm’s scheme and was forced to exit the market this year,” Rodgers continued.

While Qualcomm has denied the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations, other parts of the US government have supported the pausing of the ruling in appeals court. Earlier this year, both the Pentagon and the Department of Energy said Qualcomm was a “trusted” supplier of 5G technology and would be “impossible to replace” in the short term if put out of business.