Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Contractors alleged that Qualcomm violated 2 sections of the Sherman Act
  • The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm
  • The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales

iPhone chip supplier Qualcomm faces a fresh set of antitrust allegations from a group of four companies that assemble the iPhone and other products on behalf of Apple.

Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Wistron, Compal Electronics and Pegatron alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a US antitrust law.

The accusations, made in a filing late Tuesday in US District Court for the Southern District of California, are counterclaims to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in May seeking to force the contractors to pay Qualcomm licence fees that Apple directed them to stop paying.

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, said in a statement. “The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”

ALSO SEEQualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, which supplies so-called modem chip technology that lets iPhones connect to cellular data networks, over the nature of Qualcomm’s business model of linking the sale of chips and patent licences, which has come under scrutiny by regulators in South Korea, the United States and several other countries.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm alleging that the company had withheld nearly $1 billion of patent licence rebates it owed Apple in retaliation for Apple’s cooperation with South Korean regulators. Apple told its contract manufacturers to withhold licence payments from Qualcomm while the dispute played out, which prompted Qualcomm to sue them in May.

“Despite Apple’s claims against Qualcomm, Apple suppliers remain contractually obligated to pay royalties to Qualcomm under their licence agreements with us, including for sales of iPhones to Apple,” Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said of the dispute on the company’s conference call in April.

Much of the language in the contractors’ allegations mirror Apple’s objections to Qualcomm’s business model. A senior Apple official confirmed that the company is helping to fund the contractors’ legal defense as part of an indemnification agreement among the firms. Apple has also formally joined the contractor case as a defendant.

The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales. Analysts expect $5.2 billion (roughly Rs. 33,453 crores) in revenue for the June quarter, down from $6 billion a year earlier.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Google Has Until October 31 to Reply to EU’s Android Antitrust Charges

Google Has Until October 31 to Reply to EU's Android Antitrust Charges

Google Has Until October 31 to Reply to EU’s Android Antitrust Charges
HIGHLIGHTS
Google was accused of its Search and Android dominance
The initial date to respond to the charges was July 27
Google may lose around $7.4 billion as fine against charges
Alphabet’s Google has been given until the end of October, the fourth extension, to rebut EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said on Monday.

The Commission in April said the US technology giant’s demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps harms consumers and competition.

The EU watchdog had initially set a July 27 deadline for Google to respond to the charges. This had been extended three times at the company’s request, with the previous deadline Sept. 20.

The new deadlines are October 31 for the Android case and October 26 and October 13 for cases relating to online search advertising and shopping.

In the shopping case, Google has been accused of favouring its shopping service over those of rivals in internet search results while the AdSense case centres on the company’s measures which block competitors in online search advertising.
“In each of these cases, Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file. In line with normal practice, the Commission analysed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defence,” Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email.

The EU antitrust enforcer intends to hit the company with deterrent fines in the Android and shopping cases, according to charge sheets seen by Reuters.

Google can be fined up to $7.4 billion (roughly Rs. 49,684 crores), or 10 percent of its global turnover, for each case if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: EU, Google, Android, Antitrust, Apps, Mobiles, Tablets

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Gets More Time to Counter EU Antitrust Charge on Android

Google Gets More Time to Counter EU Antitrust Charge on Android

Alphabet’s Google has been given an extra three weeks to respond to EU antitrust charges that it abused its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

The US tech giant had been due to file a response by Tuesday but said it needed more time and will now reply by October 7, a Commission spokesman said, the third extension of the deadline.

The Commission in April accused Google of harming consumers because it required mobile phone makers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.

“We confirm that the new deadline set by the Commission is October 7,” a Commission spokesman said.” Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file.”

The world’s most popular Internet search engine has also asked and been granted an extension to October 13 to reply to a separate charge of favouring its shopping service over rival services in Internet search results.

It has until October 5 to respond to a third accusation of blocking competitors in online search advertising.

Google, which could be fined up to $7.4 billion (roughly Rs. 49,684 crores) or 10 percent of its global turnover for each charge and forced to change its business practices if found guilty of breaching EU rules, has previously deny any wrongdoing.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apps, EU, European Union, Google, Google Chrome, Mobiles, Tablets, Wearables
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Fined $6.8 Million by Russian Antitrust Regulator Over Android

Google Fined $6.8 Million by Russian Antitrust Regulator Over Android

Russia’s anti-trust authority on Thursday fined Google RUB 438 million ($6.8 million or roughly Rs. 45 crores) after finding it guilty of abusing its dominant market position by forcing smartphone makers to install its search engine on Androids.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in September last year deemed Google in breach of a law on “protecting competition” after an investigation following a complaint by Russia’s largest search engine,Yandex.

Yandex asked the antitrust authorities to prevent Android phones from being automatically bundled with Google’s search engine.

The FAS said that Google has two months to pay the fine.

Yelena Zayeva, the head of its department for regulating communications and IT was quoted in the statement as saying the ruling “will allow the development of competition on the mobile software market in Russia, which will have a positive effect for consumers.”

All companies whose production is on sale in Russia have to observe the law on competition, “including transnational corporations,” Zayeva added.

Google said in a statement sent to AFP: “We have received notice of the fine from FAS and will analyze closely before deciding our next steps.”

“In the meantime, we continue to talk to all invested parties to help consumers, device manufacturers and developers thrive on Android in Russia,” Google said.

The tech giant’s Android operating system dominates the smartphone market with a share of around 80 percent, which enables Google to offer search and other services to handset users.

Russia’s antitrust authority had been holding consultations with Google aimed at reaching an amicable agreement, but this required Google to admit guilt.

Google has insisted that consumers are free to choose whether to use its services.

Google has been hit by similar antitrust charges in other countries, particularly in the European Union, which has launched three cases against Google, one of which is specifically about using the dominance of the Android mobile phone operating system to restrict competition.

Russia’s anti-trust authority this week also launched legal proceedings against US tech giant Apple over the alleged fixing of resellers’ prices for iPhones in the country.

Apple said in a statement sent to AFP: “Resellers set their own prices for the Apple products they sell in Russia and around the world.”

Tags: Android, Antitrust, Apps, Google, Mobiles, Russia, Tablets, Wearables, Yandex

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]