May 15, 2017 07:09 AM EDT
Alliances have shifted in the tech industry, showing that in business, like in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. The best proof of this is the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against chipmaker giant Qualcomm. Samsung and Intel filed briefs to support the FTC’s charge that Qualcomm is engaged in anti-competitive business strategies.
Before the lawsuit, Qualcomm supplied Samsung the Snapdragon 835 chip that the Seoul-based tech giant was able to release its new flagships, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, ahead of Apple’s speculated iPhone 8. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung, which used to be adversaries over a lot of patents, resumed their supply relationship with Samsung manufacturing OLED screens for the Apple upcoming flagship.
Apple, in turn, filed a $1-billion lawsuit against Qualcomm for allegedly forcing the Cupertino-based tech giant to use its baseband chips. Qualcomm went to the International Trade Commission to ban the importation of iPhones to the U.S. In filing the lawsuit against Qualcomm, FTC accuses the chipmaker of creating a monopoly by not licensing some of its patented technology to other chipmakers, Android Authority reports.
In backing FTC, Intel says that Qualcomm has kept an interlocking web of abusive patent and commercial practices which subvert competition on the merits. Samsung says Qualcomm is artificially holding back its in-house chip unit by the unwillingness of the chipmaker to license its technology, Engadget reports.
Samsung says it has requested a license from Qualcomm but the chipmaker has refused. This has left Samsung with using its Exynos chips on its own devices only, but it could not sell it to other non-Samsung entities, Bloomberg reports. Qualcomm asked the court to dismiss FTC’s lawsuit which is scheduled for a hearing on June 15 by a San Jose federal court. In asking the court not to dismiss the lawsuit, FTC says the allegations present a forceful antitrust case against Qualcomm.
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