Did the FTC find an anti-trust violation or potential violation?
I'm not sure they should be forcing the licensing of Qualcomm technology unless they have a reasonably well-founded fear of violations of anti-trust laws.
Qualcomm won’t be obliged to license key patents to its competitors – for now – after it won a stay at the Ninth Circuit. The appeals court was asked by the chipmaker to put the brakes on a number of enforced changes made after Qualcomm lost a high-profile court case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Key among …
The only reason they wouldn't would be if they felt they had an absolutely airtight case against Qualcomm that could not survive any possible appeals. This just means it'll be a few years before we know the outcome - probably after Apple has moved on from Qualcomm.
Siding with the law you mean. The DOJ is unfortunately led by someone with no scruples who will do whatever Trump wants for political purposes, without regard to the law.
If the FTC was 'siding with Russia' I'm sure you would have no problem with it, since your snowflake cheeto hero is Putin's bitch.
They did, and their patents are. The dispute is basically over what "fair", "reasonable" and "non-discriminatory" mean, since Qualcomm has been forcing companies to license their non-SEP patents to be allowed to license their SEP patents, and charging as a percentage of the overall device - so if you add more RAM or a better display making it cost more you have to pay Qualcomm more even though those upgrades have absolutely nothing to do with Qualcomm's technology.
Arguably this situation has come about due to the board of Qualcomm engaging in short term thinking, instead of seeing to the long term viability of the the business. Overly aggressive tactics may lead to stellar short term profits, but it’s risky and doesn’t build a good long term foundation for a Plan B.
And they’re not the only ones.
With Qualcomm it’s patents. With Google and Facebook it’s data and privacy they’re abusing. With Amazon it’s a monopoly position in the retail market and a reliance on the gig economy. With Boeing it’s cost cutting to the point where they’ve forgotten how to build aircraft properly.
Basically if one scouts around a bit you can see that quite a large fraction of the large scale tech and engineering industries are somehow exposed to existential risks that are increasingly coming true, either at the hand of overseas or domestic regulators or both. Sometimes repeatedly so (Google, Facebook in particular).
Add that all up and it could become a pretty serious issue for the USA, and it’s not one that is being tackled. It’s all very well saying that the market will sort itself out no matter what, but if too many businesses suffer reversals all at about the same time, you’ve got a national problem. “Move fast and break things” might be a cool and trendy business motto, but if everyone does it and everything ends up broken, what then?
Propping up one of them like Qualcomm, perpetuating the poor practices that have lead to this, isn’t fixing the problem.
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