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Apple files complaints against Qualcomm in China

Apple's Chinese subsidiary has filed two complaints against Qualcomm in Beijing, one alleging a violation of China's anti-monopoly law and the other looking to determine the terms of a patent licence between Apple and Qualcomm on cellular standards.27 Jan 2017

Qualcomm has responded with a statement saying that it has not seen the complaints, other than what is given in the Beijing court's press release, but that it will defend its business model.

Vice president Don Rosenberg said: "These filings by Apple’s Chinese subsidiary are just part of Apple’s efforts to find ways to pay less for Qualcomm's technology. Apple was offered terms consistent with terms accepted by more than one hundred other Chinese companies and refused to even consider them."

"Qualcomm is prepared to defend its business model anywhere in the world. We are proud of our history of contributing our inventions to the development and success of the mobile communications ecosystem," Rosenberg said.

Apple is seeking 1 billion yuan ($145 million) in damages under the first lawsuit, Reuters reported.

The lawsuits follow a complaint filed by the US Federal Trade Commission on 17 January in which it accused Qualcomm of using anti-competitive tactics to maintain its monopoly of a key semiconductor used in mobile phones.

"Qualcomm is the world’s dominant supplier of baseband processors – devices that manage cellular communications in mobile products. The FTC alleges that Qualcomm has used its dominant position as a supplier of certain baseband processors to impose onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers and to weaken competitors," the FTC said.

Qualcomm responded with a statement that said: "The portrayal of facts offered by the FTC as the basis for the agency’s case is significantly flawed. In particular, Qualcomm has never withheld or threatened to withhold chip supply in order to obtain agreement to unfair or unreasonable licensing terms. The FTC’s allegation to the contrary - the central thesis of the complaint - is wrong."