For those who thought that judicial war between Apple and Qualcomm I could take a few days to breathe this early in the year, well, just to say that was a bad impression. Recently, one more given fact was placed on the table amidst the statements, as reported by Reuters.
In audience with U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the CEO of Qualcomm, Steve Mollenkopfsaid Apple "strongly insisted" that the chip maker make a payment of $ 1 billion as an “incentive” for Ma to transition to the company's iPhones modems in 2011. The amount would be intended to alleviate the technical costs of the transition (until 2011, Ma used Infineon modems) and not block potential competitors. that would be a crime.
According to Mollenkopf, the amount was paid Apple through rebates on the prices of modems sold. According to the executive's testimony, in the initial agreements Ma would not be prevented from looking for other suppliers or required to keep Qualcomm as the only partner in the parts, but if Tim Cook and his class decided to contract with another chipmaker (such as Intel ), the $ 1 billion bonus would be canceled.
Apple then demanded assurances that the bonus would be passed on to its coffers under any circumstances. Qualcomm, therefore, saw only one solution: to enter into an exclusive contract with Ma, ensuring that the company did not look for other suppliers for several years.
The story is interesting for several reasons. First, at a recent hearing, an Apple executive stated that it was never the company's intention to contract only with a modem provider (which is exactly what happened with Qualcomm for several years); The $ 1 billion payment may explain Ma's temporary change of mind. In addition, such information may be crucial for judges to decide Qualcomm's fate in the process, as practice can be considered a way to block rivals.
Let us follow the next chapters of this story.