Timothy Lee did a nice deep dive into the 233-page Qualcomm monopoly ruling from Judge Lucy Koh. I’ve heard hot takes of the settlement between Apple and Qualcomm that suggested maybe Apple knew it was going to lose and gave up. But Judge Koh ordered Qualcomm to renegotiate with its customers.
The legal document outlines a nearly 20-year history of overcharging smartphone makers for cellular chips. Qualcomm structured its contracts with smartphone makers in ways that made it almost impossible for other chipmakers to challenge Qualcomm’s dominance. Customers who didn’t go along with Qualcomm’s one-sided terms were threatened with an abrupt and crippling loss of access to modem chips.
In her ruling, Koh ordered Qualcomm to stop threatening customers with chip cutoffs. Qualcomm must now re-negotiate all of its agreements with customers and license its patents to competitors on reasonable terms.
Check It Out: An Inside Look at the Qualcomm Monopoly Ruling