Qualcomm to pay millions to shareholders in Apple-related lawsuit

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Qualcomm reached a big settlement in favor of shareholders, something that not even Apple had achieved after a previous lawsuit. Shareholders had accused the company of using shady methods to inflate stock prices.

According to the lawsuit, Qualcomm was deceiving them about the company’s administrative issues. The main problem was licensing patents. The company had apparently refused to license essential patents in some cases. They would have even demanded the purchase of chipsets as a prerequisite for obtaining the licenses.

Shareholders reach a $75 million settlement with Qualcomm, something Apple wanted

By definition, patents defined as essential must be granted in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. After all, the related technical process is essential to working on a particular technology or standard. Therefore, making an agreement subject to a prior purchase of Qualcomm chips went against this principle. This was the reason for Apple’s lawsuit against Qualcomm related to the $75 million settlement that shareholders will receive.

Interestingly, Qualcomm emerged victorious from its legal confrontations related to this matter. However, shareholders achieved something that neither Apple nor other entities (such as the US Federal Trade Commission) could. According to the lawsuit, Qualcomm claimed that its chip sales and technology licensing were separate businesses. However, the company was bundling them, engaging in an anti-competitive practice. These practices would have been carried out between February 2012 and January 2017.

Apple had sued for the same thing; the agreement was not in their favor

Apple and the Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in 2017. At that time, the Cupertino giant also referenced the practices described by shareholders. Apple claimed that the chip supplier used its position to charge excessive prices for baseband processor licenses. Licenses for baseband processors are on the “essential” patent list. In addition to the price, they also mentioned that Qualcomm required onerous conditions to grant these licenses. The situation even led Apple to consider ditching Qualcomm modems. For this, the company was in talks with Intel.