It seems Qualcomm’s legal woes are far from over.
Rival companies Intel and Samsung on Friday piled on to bolster the Federal Trade Commission’s case against the U.S. chip giant, with the former accusing Qualcomm of benefiting from an “interlocking web of abusive patent and commercial practices.”
Filed in January, the FTC’s complaint accuses Qualcomm of engaging in sales and patent licensing practices that “hamper” the company’s competitors and “threaten innovation in mobile communications.” While Qualcomm has sought to have the FTC’s lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it presents “no coherent theory of competitive harm,” Intel urged the court to allow the case to proceed.
In an Amicus Brief filed with the U.S. District Court in Northern California, Intel said it was “ready, willing, and able to challenge Qualcomm’s market dominance,” but alleged the company’s business practices subvert the idea of competition based on merit.
“These practices have coerced mobile phone manufacturers into purchasing the chipsets they need from Qualcomm and Qualcomm alone,” Intel wrote. “The FTC’s detailed complaint documents the Qualcomm practices that have created that coercive business climate and stymied competition. Qualcomm’s behavior has inflicted and continues to inflict precisely the harms that the antitrust laws seek to protect against: harm to the competitive process, to consumer welfare, and to innovation and progress.”
Similarly, in its own filing, Samsung indicated Qualcomm has stymied its ability to compete as well. Samsung said it “cannot sell licensed Exynos chipsets to non-Samsung entities because Qualcomm has refused to license Samsung to make and sell licensed chipsets.”
Qualcomm, which has been outspoken in defending itself against a similar lawsuit from Apple, didn’t immediately respond to the new filings. However, Qualcomm Executive Vice President and General Counsel Don Rosenburg previously said the FTC’s complaint was “relying on inaccurate information and presumptions.” A Qualcomm press release from January further noted the company “has never withheld or threatened to withhold chip supply in order to obtain agreement to unfair or unreasonable licensing terms,” and called the FTC’s assertions simply “wrong.”