Qualcomm prepared to file a motion to dismiss action against it from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which accused the company of using anticompetitive behaviour to maintain its dominant position in the smartphone market.
The Wall Street Journal reported the company would submit its request to a US district judge later today in an attempt to have the case quashed.
Qualcomm vowed to fight the action, hours after the FTC filed its complaint in January. In a statement at the time, the chip company said the argument against it was based on “flawed legal theory, a lack of economic support and significant misconceptions about the mobile technology industry”. The company also cited a lack of evidence in the watchdog’s case.
The FTC accused Qualcomm of using its dominant position in the smartphone market to impose “onerous and anticompetetitive supply and licensing terms” on handset manufacturers in an attempt to weaken its competitors.
Specifically, the regulator said the company operated a “no licence, no chips” policy, which meant Qualcomm would only sell baseband processors – used to manage cellular connections – to companies which agreed to its preferred licence terms. This, the FTC claims, acts as an anticompetitive tax on using products from other suppliers.
In addition, the FTC said Qualcomm refused to licence industry standard-essential patents to competitors, despite a commitment to licence them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
It also said the company “extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties”.