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What Does the New Qualcomm Ruling Mean for 5G and the U.S.-China Tech War?

May 23, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
A smartphone displays Qualcomm's company logo.

A smartphone displays Qualcomm's company logo. A U.S. federal judge has ruled in favor of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against U.S. 5G tech leader Qualcomm, declaring that the company broke antitrust laws.

IGOR GOLVNIOV/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In what could become a landmark case, a U.S. district judge on May 21 sided with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against Qualcomm over its licensing prices. Judge Lucy Koh said that the San Diego-based telecommunications innovator broke U.S. antitrust law by "strangling competition" in the semiconductor chip industry and using its position as a key patent holder to demand unreasonably high licensing fees. Qualcomm will almost certainly appeal the ruling to a higher court, but if it stands, Koh's decision will hit at the heart of Qualcomm's business model, weakening the company at a time when it is in a heated competition with Chinese tech developers....

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