Apple’s biggest rivals back fight against Qualcomm

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Red iPhone in hand
Other tech companies aren't happy that Qualcomm's trying to ban the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has some serious backup in its battle against Qualcomm, as a lobbying group representing some of tech’s heaviest hitters (including a handful of Apple’s biggest historic enemies) have called on regulators to reject Qualcomm’s bid to ban the importing of iPhones.

Some of the names in said group? Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung — all of whom have filed official comments in support of Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Their argument is that banning imports of iPhones assembled overseas, as Qualcomm has asked, would cause “significant shocks to supply.”

“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,” Ed Black, CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association said in a statement. “What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.”

Apple itself is not a member of the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

The story so far

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm broke out in January, when Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because Apple assisted South Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm’s business.

Qualcomm hit back back by claiming Apple was being purposely misleading, and that it had breached its contract with the company. The decision by Apple to withhold royalty payments to Qualcomm then meant that Qualcomm was forced to revise its earnings forecasts to give a smaller number, due to Apple cutting off one of its major sources of revenue.

The point that most upset the other tech companies, however, was Qualcomm’s decision to file a complaint with the International Trade Commission to ban iPhones being imported to the United States that use chips, “other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.” Apple started using Intel chips in the iPhone 7.

Source: Reuters