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Court rejects Qualcomm's evidence on Apple switch in FTC antitrust case

A U.S. federal court has ruled that Qualcomm Inc. cannot use evidence of Apple Inc.'s shift to other chip suppliers to counter charges in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Reuters reported.

In a pretrial decision, Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said the case focuses on Qualcomm's business conduct and not its market power.

The chipmaker was supposed to defend its practices by presenting the fact that Apple stopped using its modems and switched to Intel Corp. as chip provider for the latest iPhone models. It argued that the change was a proof that it did not engage in the monopolistic schemes alleged by the FTC.

The district judge earlier ruled against Qualcomm in an initial decision on the case, saying the chipmaker should license patents to rivals such as Intel and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The ruling also cited Qualcomm's commitments to industry groups that it will provide the licenses on fair and reasonable terms.

The rulings came ahead of a trial on the case that is expected to begin January 2019, according to Reuters.