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Qualcomm shares hit by the US Federal Court


Qualcomm found to violate antitrust law. Federal judge sides with FTC in antitrust case, saying company’s patent-licensing practices ‘strangled competition’.

Stocks impacted: Qualcomm (QCOM)

Qualcomm Inc. unlawfully suppressed competition in the market for cellphone chips and used its dominant position to exact excessive licensing fees, a federal judge ruled in a decision that could challenge the company’s business model and shake up the smartphone industry. The decision by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, made public late Tuesday night, sided with the Federal Trade Commission, which brought an antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm in January 2017.

The judge ordered that Qualcomm negotiate or renegotiate licensing agreements with customers free of unfair tactics, such as threatening to cut off access to its chips. Qualcomm also must license its patents to rival chip makers at fair and reasonable prices, and can’t sign exclusive supply agreements with smartphone makers like Apple that block rivals from selling chips into devices.

As a result, company’s shares have hit the new lows, falling 12.5% to 77.57.

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