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Qualcomm files motion to stay antitrust ruling pending appeal

Qualcomm Inc., on May 28, filed a motion at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, to stay a recent court ruling that held the company accountable for violating antitrust rules and ordered the U.S. chipmaker to revisit its licensing contracts.

After previously stating that it will seek a stay of the district court's judgment that sided with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Qualcomm filed a request with the court to stay its previous ruling. Terming FTC's case as "irreparably flawed" and "lacking any plausible theory of competitive harm" on its website, Qualcomm said it strongly disagrees with the ruling and intends to appeal it.

The chipmaker said the ruling raises "serious legal questions" including the FTC's power to seek and obtain injunctive relief, the proper standard of proof required for granting such relief and the proper scope of any injunction.

Downplaying the concerns regarding competition, Qualcomm said mobile handset makers repeatedly testified that the company had the best chips available and the company's licensing model promotes, rather than harms, competition in the mobile chip industry. The company added that it is confident of overturning the order on appeal, saying that the court's order threatens to upend the entire wireless communications industry.

The original complaint by FTC, which was filed in 2017, alleged that Qualcomm imposed onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers.