Qualcomm Successfully Defends Against Consumer Antitrust Lawsuit in California
Qualcomm has defeated a consumer lawsuit alleging antitrust violations at a California federal court, which claimed that Qualcomm’s contracts with device manufacturers artificially increased mobile phone prices in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.
U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco ruled in favor of Qualcomm in a concise 15-page order, dealing a setback to the plaintiffs in a long-standing legal dispute. This case primarily focused on Qualcomm’s patent licensing and exclusive-dealing chip agreements with major manufacturers like Apple, as reported by Reuters.
Attorney Joseph Cotchett, representing the consumers, disagreed with the court’s decision and confirmed their intention to appeal.
Qualcomm’s General Counsel, Ann Chaplin, stated that Judge Corley’s rulings have fully dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims, reiterating Qualcomm’s position that it did not engage in any wrongdoing.
Throughout the lawsuit, Qualcomm consistently denied any wrongdoing and requested the judge to reject the consumers’ allegations.
The case landed in Judge Corley’s courtroom following a 9th Circuit ruling in 2021 that invalidated an order certifying a nationwide consumer class action. In January, Judge Corley dismissed key antitrust elements of the plaintiffs’ claims but allowed the case to proceed.
Qualcomm’s legal team argued that the plaintiffs failed to provide any evidence within the case record showing that “any alleged exclusive dealing agreement” harmed consumers.
In contrast, the consumers’ attorneys argued that Qualcomm was ignoring a substantial body of evidence supporting their claims of exclusive dealing.
Judge Corley ultimately ruled against granting the plaintiffs another opportunity for further litigation, citing the potential for “more years of costly legal battles” and maintaining that the issue of Qualcomm’s alleged liability had already been addressed earlier in the case.