May 22, 2019

FTC wins antitrust case against Qualcomm, which plans to appeal

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A federal judge has ruled that Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive behavior and ordered the chipmaker to renegotiate its licensing deals with device makers. Qualcomm vowed to appeal the ruling.

The big picture: Qualcomm defends its "no license, no chips" business model — under which it only sells processors to companies that also take a license to its patents. But critics say the policy is unfair and that the company doesn't offer its standards-essential technology on a fair and reasonable basis.

Qualcomm's practices have "strangled competition," Judge Lucy Koh wrote in a 233-page ruling that was posted late Tuesday.

Why it matters: Qualcomm gets a large chunk of its revenue — and an even greater share of its profits — from licensing its broad patent portfolio of wireless technology. Forcing it to renegotiate deals could put a significant dent in that business.

Shares of Qualcomm fell more than 10% in the wake of the decision.

The timing of the ruling is interesting, coming after Apple settled a similar suit with Qualcomm and agreed to a new license and chip supply deal. That deal took place after the FTC case was heard.

What's next: Qualcomm said it will seek a stay of the order from Judge Lucy Koh as well as an expedited appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

“We strongly disagree with the judge’s conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law,” general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.

WHO temporarily suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns

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The World Health Organization is temporarily pausing tests of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment in order to review safety concerns, the agency's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said Monday.

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