Apple, Qualcomm spat intensifies, manufacturers drawn in

Apple, Qualcomm spat intensifies, manufacturers drawn in

Qualcomm said today that it has filed a breach of contract complaint against Apple manufacturers who it says have been pressured by Apple not to pay royalties to Qualcomm for technology that it says it owns.

Qualcomm argued that the manufacturers acknowledge they have a contractual obligation to pay royalties to the chip makers, but they need to follow Apple's orders against paying.

"Their gripe, their issue, appears to be with Apple", said Qualcomm General Counsel Don Rosenberg.

Qualcomm's patent-licensing segment in fiscal 2016 contributed roughly 80% of its pretax profit.

Apple also repeated a statement it's given in the past. "Without an agreed-upon rate to determine how much is owed, we have suspended payments until the correct amount can be determined by the court".

It said at the time: "For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with".

Qualcomm was little changed at $55.89 at 12:45 NY trading, while Apple dropped 2.2 percent to $152 as broader markets fell amid political turmoil in Washington.

Qualcomm pioneered a good portion of 3G/4G cellular radio technology and holds thousands of patents on its inventions.

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In a new move in the on-going dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, the chip supplier has sued four iPhone suppliers directly.

But it turns out that Qualcomm really wants that cash.

The dispute started in January when Apple sued Qualcomm for $1bn, accusing it of abusing its monopoly position - accusations Qualcomm dismissed as "baseless".

Qualcomm did not disclose the quantum of royalty owed to it by the manufacturers. The companies make iPhones and iPads for Apple.

San Diego-based Qualcomm announced this morning that it has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against FIH Mobile Ltd. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

"What they are saying is Apple is not paying us, so we are not paying you, and Apple has told us not to pay you", said Rosenberg. It's just the royalties on Apple products that aren't getting paid.

Qualcomm responded Friday saying the FTC's argument "does nothing to cure the fundamental flaws in its complaint against Qualcomm: no coherent theory of competitive harm and no allegations of the type of conduct that the antitrust laws are created to address".

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