Qualcomm is a name that might not ring a bell in your ears but it surely is the tech you are using now. To be very specific, the technology or the phone you are using now runs well because of this very company. Qualcomm basically is a chip-making company that makes chips for a living. Not the ones we eat but the ones we use to make our phones work.
Qualcomm is basically a chip on which powers our phone. It makes sure our phone is slick and works better. It makes chips which connect our phones to cellular networks and also processors in the name of Snapdragon which are basically the brain of the device. So, it is kind of makes the phone work in many different ways. That said, Qualcomm recently held a conference in Hawaii launching its newest processor Snapdragon 855. It is one of the first processors to support 5G. Many phones in this year are going to rock this processor.
The American company, however, might have landed itself in trouble. Qualcomm is a company that owns a lot of patents. It almost owns patents for all the 3G, 4G, and 5G technology in the market. So if any of the phone-makers decide to use the cellular network, they have to pay a licensing fee to the American giant. This, the phone-makers have to do regardless of using a Snapdragon chip or not. This raised a lot of questions as the company has created a monopoly in this market. The fees should not be paid if they are not using a Snapdragon chip.
The American Federal Trade Commission also was known as FTC is up for a fight against Qualcomm. They are taking this semiconductor and telecom company to the court for their behavior. FTC has accused Qualcomm of forcing Apple into a chip deal. It also accuses Qualcomm of creating a monopoly, which is kind of true and has asked for the case to proceed. It has also said that it has decided to not give licenses to its rivals so that the monopoly can be maintained. Qualcomm on this said that FTC doesn’t have any proof and cannot prove that there is no competition in the market. It also said that there are rival chip-makers and are doing equally good.
Qualcomm and FTC are trying to settle the case outside of the court but the judge is going ahead with the trial anyway. The trial has started on January 4 and will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Friday in California. Judge Lucy Koh will preside over the hearings. She is one of the high profile judges who ruled on the Apple versus Samsung battle on patenting issues some years ago. The Qualcomm case is supposed to go on for the next ten days. FTC had filed for this over two years ago.
– Unmesh Phule