Apple Fined for Withholding Evidence from Qualcomm

Qualcomm and Apple are not exactly the best of friends, given the fact that the two are part of the same market. Therefore it is a surprise to find out that the Cupertino, California-based company is facing fines for not providing the evidence needed for a lawsuit against Qualcomm. The iPhone maker has been ordered by a court in San Jose, California to pay $25,000 every day, beginning from 16th December, if it doesn’t produce the documents needed by the Federal Trade Commission for pursuing the lawsuit against the chipmaker. Earlier this year, the FTC had sued Qualcomm for its anti-competitive practices.

For instance, the chipmaker had made an offer to the tech titan of charging low royalty fees if they opt to use Qualcomm’s baseband chips in their iconic iPhones. Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple Inc. denied that the company had been withholding any documents. He said that they had already provided a million documents and were working on providing millions more in a very short time frame. He asserted that they would appeal this ruling. It remains unclear as to why the smartphone giant has been unable to move fast enough to suit the court and if this delay could work in Qualcomm’s favor.

Unless the court reverses its decision, the tech firm has to present the documents by December 29th or it will be facing steeper fines. However, it is a fact that regardless of what the new amount of the fine is, it will not have a big impact on the finances of a company that can easily generate around $25,000 within a couple of seconds. In the last fiscal year, the company pumped out this much profit in 16 seconds. While Apple is not a party to the lawsuit filed by the FTC, it is also engaged in legal battle with Qualcomm.

The war began in January when Apple piggybacked off the FTC lawsuit and sued Qualcomm for royalty payments of $1 billion. The tech company has also accused the chipmaker of monopolizing the market of wireless devices and chips. The chipmaker then fired back at Apple with its own lawsuit in which it accused Apple of sharing proprietary information with a competitor and not complying with the terms of a software license. In November, Apple filed another lawsuit against Qualcomm in which it claimed that the old Snapdragon chips were in violation of at least eight patents.

Qualcomm came up with a lawsuit of their own when they claimed that 16 of their patents were violated by iPhones from 7 to X. The chipmaker’s management and investors are on the lookout for any indication of a breakthrough in the horde of regulatory actions and the legal disputes the company is facing. Its stock has been dealt with a major blow this year as Apple has suspended license payments and cases and actions have piled-up against it. This has made the company a takeover target by its competitor, Broadcom Ltd., which is pursuing a hostile takeover worth $105 billion.    

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