District Court Holds That Qualcomm Patent Licensing and Other Conduct Violates the Sherman Act: Northern District of California Concludes That Qualcomm’s Conduct Was Anticompetitive and Violated Duty to Deal with Rival Chipmakers

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - May 24, 2019

On May 21, 2019, in FTC v. Qualcomm, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued findings of fact and conclusions of law, holding that Qualcomm’s modem chip licensing and other practices, including its refusal to supply chips unless the customer took a Qualcomm license (“no license, no chips”), violated both Section 1 and Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The court enjoined Qualcomm from engaging in these practices going forward, and its decision will undoubtedly impact Qualcomm and the wireless business as a whole during the transition to 5G technology.