In a new turn of events in the Qualcomm-Apple battle, the former has accused the latter of laying to regulators in a bid to spur investigations and also accused the iPhone maker of breaching contractual pledges, mischaracterizing their agreement and misrepresenting facts.
Qualcomm’s counter suit comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Apple wherein it accused the chipmaker of illegally trying to control the market for chips and improperly withholding more than $1 billion in “rebates” to punish the iPhone-maker for talking to Korean regulators.
Apple sought to have its case joined with one filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Northern California. The FTC has also accused Qualcomm of illegally maintaining a monopoly for semiconductors in mobile phones. Apple’s request was denied April 5. Qualcomm is currently trying to have the FTC case dismissed.
Qualcomm said in a statement that they are stunned by some of the accusations made in the suit and the counter suit is a response to some of the disturbing elements said in the complaint.
The core of the legal battle is effectively a commercial dispute between Qualcomm and Apple over how much the semiconductor company is entitled to charge smartphone and tablet makers to use its patented technology, whether or not they use its chips.
According to Qualcomm, Apple is behind regulatory investigations of its business practices worldwide. Cupertino, California-based Apple has lobbied with “false and misleading statements to induce regulators to take action against us because it would be in their commercial interests.”
“We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts,” Apple said in a Jan. 20 statement.
In addition to the $1 billion in withheld fees, Apple is seeking billions more in compensation for what it calls past overcharges, and lower royalties going forward.
Qualcomm says Apple has soured a decade worth of working together and has threatened Qualcomm, to try to prevent it from publicly speaking about the performance of the iPhone 7. Some models of that device rely on Intel Corp. modems for their connections to phone networks and, according to Qualcomm, aren’t as good as the ones that use its modems.