Tech giants support Apple in Qualcomm fight

Powerful lobbying group the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) said the International Trade Commission (ITC) should reject Qualcomm’s request to block Apple devices from reaching the market.

The lobbying group represents major tech companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Samsung, Yahoo, Sprint, Univision and Netflix.

Apple and Qualcomm are involved in a major legal fight in which Apple has objected to Qualcomm’s business model of requiring customers to sign patent license agreements before buying chips.

Qualcomm has accused Apple of directing its contract manufacturers including Foxconn to withhold license payments in an attempt to harm Qualcomm.

The ITC is accepting comments on Qualcomm’s request that the ITC ban importation and sale of Apple mobile devices that don’t use a Qualcomm processor.

The CCIA told the ITC that Qualcomm’s request would “harm consumers by enabling Qualcomm’s anti-competitive behavior.”

Apple is not a member of this international tech trade association.

CCIA CEO Ed Black: “Qualcomm is already using its dominant position to pressure competitors and tax competing products.

“If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple, and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices.

“What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.

“But even more critical is the principle of open competition that has been historically important to US economic success.

“The ITC has a choice whether to further reward anti-competitive behavior – or to reject this anti-free market, anti-consumer request.”