Intel states Qualcomm’s business practices pushed it out of the modem chip market

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It is not like this wasn’t amongst the reasons throughout assumed when Apple suddenly declared it was purchasing Intel’s modem business.

But currently, the chipmaker has recorded a brief in assistance of the FTC in an ongoing petition by Qualcomm of a judgment made in May. 

That judgment found in support of the FTC’s allegations that Qualcomm’s licensing agreements for its IP around CDMA and LTE technologies have strangled out other possible competitors.

The Raging War 

Intel, in the filing and a current blog post accompanying and describing the filing from Intel EVP and General Counsel Steven R. Rodgers, states that Intel underwent the brunt of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive behavior. 

It was refused opportunities in the modem market, was barred from making sales to consumers, and was ordered to sell at rates artificially skewed by Qualcomm.

It also particularly notes that it includes itself among the list of opponents [Qualcomm] taken out of the modem chip market.

Beginning of this year, Apple and Qualcomm agreed to withdraw the ongoing lawsuits.

The two sometime-partners had recorded against one another, ending a dispute in the courts that had begun back in 2017 when Apple sued Qualcomm of overcharging it for the use of Qualcomm’s patents. 

The agreement included Apple paying Qualcomm sone-time amount, and the founding of a six-year licensing deal, as well as a supply contract for Qualcomm chipsets to be utilized in Apple products.

At the same time, Intel stated it was leaving the modem business – a declaration that appeared timely.

Apple’s Involvement 

Apple has tried to use Intel modems in new iPhones to avoid Qualcomm, which is an industry leader when it comes to the supply of wireless communication chips applied in smartphones. 

Later in July, Apple declared that it was obtaining the majority of Intel’s smartphone business. Due to this, many considered that eventually, Apple would try to develop its wireless communication chips in-house in a longer-term action to decrease its reliance on Qualcomm.

Intel certainly is not satisfied to just let the situation lie, and after its blog post notes that it has funded “billions” in the modem business, it developed and then sold to Apple. Based on the context, it sure sounds like it didn’t recover all of its submerged costs in the Apple deal, which was worth about $1 billion all told.

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