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Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1 Billion Over Excessive Licensing Fees

Apple has filed a lawsuit for $1 billion in damages against Qualcomm alleging the chipmaker had used “exclusionary tactics” and charged “excessive royalties.”

The lawsuit also claims Qualcomm withheld almost US$1 billion in rebate payments to Apple due to their cooperation in a investigation by South Korean authorities. As part of this investigation, last month the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Qualcomm 1.03 trillion won ($1.16 trillion) for “monopolistic” practices, which the chipmaker said it would appeal.

“For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with,” Apple said in a statement.

“The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations.”

Qualcomm was hit by another major lawsuit last week by the United States Federal Trade Commission. The FTC alleged in an antitrust suit that Qualcomm had provided billions of dollars in rebates to Apple as part of an exclusivity agreement it established between 2011 and 2016 for modem chips.

According to the FTC’s suit, Apple would have suffered significantly due to missed rebate payments if it had chosen a different supplier. Qualcomm also disputed the FTC’s claims.

“Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information,” Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said.

“We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits,” Mr Rosenberg said.


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