Qualcomm argued the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) failed to prove its business practices harmed competitors, as a near month-long antitrust hearing drew to a close.

The FTC case, which has been contested in court since 4 January, alleges Qualcomm used its market dominance in smartphone chips to force phone suppliers to pay higher patent licensing fees.

Both parties are now awaiting a judicial ruling, though CNET reported this is not likely to be delivered swiftly.

The FTC initially launched the case in 2017.

Fair and accurate
In a statement summing up Qualcomm’s closing argument, EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said the FTC “hasn’t come close to meeting its burden of proof in this case”.

“All real-world evidence presented at trial showed how Qualcomm’s years of R&D and innovation fostered competition, and growth for the entire mobile economy to the benefit of consumers around the world.”

He added that the company’s licensing rates, which were set long before it had a chip business, “fairly and accurately reflect the value of our patent portfolio”.

On the other side, the FTC closed its case against Qualcomm by arguing the company used its dominance in the 3G and 4G chip market to force handset makers like Apple to sign licensing agreements with excessively high royalties.

It argued this approach would continue in the 5G era if Qualcomm isn’t stopped.

During the trial, the FTC called witnesses from a number of handset companies including Apple, Samsung, Intel and Huawei to testify that Qualcomm had used unfair practices, harming competition in the industry.