The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dropped a long-running patent licensing case against Qualcomm, citing headwinds for declining to seek a Supreme Court review of a previous decision in the chipmaker’s favour.

In a statement, acting FTC chair Rebecca Slaughter explained the regulator would not continue to pursue the matter despite a previous district court decision going its way by ruling Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices breached US competition laws.

Slaughter cautioned a later appeals court move overturning the outcome was a cause for concern regarding the “potential for anti-competitive or unfair behaviour” and said the FTC would closely monitor the situation moving forward.

Reuters reported Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg as stating the company was pleased to see the case finally ended.

A Supreme Court action was the only route left open to the FTC after a panel of judges in late 2020 declined to re-examine the appeals court ruling overturning the district court assertion regarding Qualcomm’s approach to patent licensing.