Intel and Apple gang-up on Qualcomm, with Intel accusing Qualcom of abusing its position

Intel and Apple gang-up on Qualcomm, with Intel accusing Qualcom of abusing its position using some of the anti-competitive practices Intel has been accused of in the past

Intel appears to have landed on Qualcomm’s hotel in Mayfair…

Intel has found common cause with Apple in its legal fight against Qualcomm, joining Apple in accusing Qualcomm of abusing its position in the industry. 

Intel, which is no stranger to accusations of antitrust market abuse, claims it’s the only remaining competitor for Qualcomm in the mobile market and, by suing Apple, Qualcomm is trying to squeeze Intel out of the baseband modem market.

“Qualcomm did not initiate this investigation to stop the alleged infringement of its patent rights; rather, its complaint is a transparent effort to stave off lawful competition from Qualcomm’s only remaining rival,” Intel claimed in a statement.

“This twisted use of the Commission’s process is just the latest in a long line of anticompetitive strategies that Qualcomm has used to quash incipient and potential competitors and avoid competition on the merits.”

Intel goes on to argue that fulfilling Qualcomm’s request “would cause significant harm to the public interest”, arguing that a victory for the company would “severely damage competitive conditions in the US economy by reinforcing Qualcomm’s hold on the premium LTE modem merchant market”.

The statement, filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC, comes in response to Qualcomm’s complaint alleging patent infringement by certain Apple devices, in which it asked the ITC to ban the import of Intel-powered iPhones

This isn’t Intel’s only problem with Qualcomm. The chipmaker also argues that Qualcomm has engaged in other monopolistic and anti-competitive practices.

These practices include forcing manufacturers to pay “exorbitant” royalties for every device they sell even if they don’t contain Qualcomm technology, and offering Apple lower licensing fees for exclusively using its chips.

“These arrangements foreclosed rivals like Intel from competing for Apple’s vital business,” Intel said. 

Earlier this year, Intel kicked off at Qualcomm over its partnership with Microsoft to bring ARM-based Windows PCs to market this year, threatening that emulation doesn’t mean that copyright battles are off the table. 

“There have been reports that some companies may try to emulate Intel’s proprietary x86 ISA without Intel’s authorization,” Intel’s chief lawyer Stephen Rodgers and director of Intel Labs Richard A. Uhlig said.

He continued: “We do not welcome unlawful infringement of our patents, and we fully expect other companies to continue to respect Intel’s intellectual property rights.” 

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