Apple’s ongoing lawsuit against Qualcomm over patent infringements earned an interesting swivel on Thursday as major tech companies convene to offer support. According to a report by Reuters, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which consist of tech companies such as Samsung, Intel, Google, Facebook, Amazon and more filed comments with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The companies have argued that banning import of ‘foreign-assembled’ Apple iPhones that use Intel chips as have been requested by Qualcomm would cause “significant shocks to supply” for smartphones and hurt consumers as well.
CCIA President & CEO Ed Black in a press statement said, “Qualcomm is already using its dominant position to pressure competitors and tax competing products. If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple, and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices.”
“What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices. But even more critical is the principle of open competition that has been historically important to US economic success. The ITC has a choice whether to further reward anti-competitive behavior – or to reject this anti-free market, anti-consumer request,” he further said.
CCIA includes the following in its lobbying group- Google, Samsung, Intel Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and more. However, Apple is not a member of the group.
Notably, Qualcomm supplies modem chips to Apple, which basically help iPhone and iPad devices to connect to cellular data networks. The multinational semiconductor company earlier this month officially filed a ‘patent infringement suit’ against Apple. Qualcomm asked US regulators to investigate on which iPhone models use Intel chips and block those from being imported, asserting that they use technology that ‘violates the company’s patents’.
This battle between Apple and Qualcomm have long since been vented when Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this year accused Qualcomm of forcing Apple to use its baseband chips at high ‘patent royalties’. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook first said that he was open for an out-of-court settlement and Qualcomm’s CEO expressed similar sentiments recently, 9To5Mac points out. However, things continue to escalate. While Apple now seems to leverage its position in the battle against Qualcomm with major tech companies support on its side, it still remains to be seen how the battle is going to play out.