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DOJ asks Appeals Court to Pause Antitrust Ruling against Qualcomm on the basis of National Security



After a long legal battle covering U.S. and European courts, Apple and Qualcomm finally settled their case in mid-April even though the FTC case against Qualcomm was still in play. With the Trump administration starting a war against Huawei's 5G equipment in the U.S. and abroad, the DOJ requested a hearing with Judge Koh in early May to ensure a judgement against Qualcomm wouldn't Hinder U.S. in its fight for 5G. Later in May Judge Koh proceeded with a ruling against Qualcomm in the FTC case for unlawfully suppressing competition to maintain their monopoly.


Tonight we're learning in a CNN report that "the US Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court for a temporary pause in a pivotal antitrust ruling involving Qualcomm. The chipmaker is locked in litigation with government regulators over its patent licensing business model.


According to the Department of Justice, national security could be threatened by a May ruling by Judge Lucy Koh, who found that Qualcomm broke competition law by charging cellphone makers high fees for the rights to the company's wireless equipment.


As a key supplier of 5G technology, Koh's ruling could hinder Qualcomm — with potential consequences for the United States, the Justice Department said in its filing.


'In the view of the Executive Branch, diminishment of Qualcomm's competitiveness in 5G innovation and standard-setting would significantly impact US national security," according to the filing.'"


CNN further noted that "The Trump administration has also sought to limit the number of suppliers who may serve the American market, barring companies such as Huawei over concerns it could let China eavesdrop on US communications."


Interestingly CNN noted that "The Justice Department was joined Tuesday by statements of support from the Defense Department and the Department of Energy. For more on this, read the full CNN report here.


In the Reuters report on this subject they added that Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary for Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, wrote in a filing made in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: "For DoD (Department of Defense), Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm’s critical role in 5G technology in the short term."  


Lord further wrote that the Defense Department "firmly believes that any measure that inappropriately limits Qualcomm’s technological leadership, ability to invest in research and development, and market competitiveness, even in the short-term, could harm national security."


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