I propose you an exercise: let’s go back in time, but precisely for the beginning of 2017. At that time, we were watching the beginning of an unprecedented legal battle for Apple against one of its, until then, faithful squires: the chip maker Qualcomm.
If for some reason you are unaware of the case between the two tech giants, it is worth checking out our articles on the various stages of this imbroglio that has already involved consumers and other Apple suppliers, in addition to the ban on gadgets Apple in Germany for a while.
Tim Cook vs. Steve Mollenkopf
It is clear that an arm wrestling of this magnitude would cause side effects as unpleasant as the process itself, especially among the CEOs of the two giants. In this sense, the The Wall Street Journal published a report investigating not only the legal battle, but the relationship between executive directors.
According to the WSJ, last year the two met at Apple Park to discuss the legal battle, which was escalating more and more rapidly. At that time, Mollenkopf allegedly suspected that Apple supported Broadcom’s attempt to buy the chip maker.
The report also recalls the beginning of the partnership between Apple and Qualcomm to manufacture the first iPhone, launched in 2007. At that time, the agreement was made by former Apple CEO and cofounder Steve Jobs, who maintained a friendly relationship with then Qualcomm director Paul Jacobs. Initially, the deal involved a $ 7.50 iPhone payment to Qualcomm.
However, when Cook became Apple’s CEO in 2011, the tone of the negotiations changed and he pressured Apple’s board to reshape it. According to people familiar with the deals, Cook considered it «inopportune» for Apple to pay Qualcomm more than any other iPhone licensee, which certainly did not please the chip maker.
Mollenkopf even tried to alleviate the public situation between the companies by saying that they were both about to reach an out-of-court settlement. Apple, however, has contested this information several times, leaving Qualcomm’s CEO as the «nut» of this story.
The main case between Qualcomm and Apple will be heard this week and both company directors are expected to testify. The initial arguments started today in a San Diego court and, according to some rumors, Cook agreed to testify because he is «tremendously frustrated with Qualcomm’s licensing practices».
Cook’s level of attention to the process is directly proportional to the financial impact of this battle on Qualcomm’s pockets, if it is determined that the manufacturer unduly charged royalties for their patents. More precisely, Apple and four of its major suppliers are jointly asking for $ 30 billion in damages and other payments from Qualcomm.
This makes the case among technology giants the largest of its kind in the world, overcoming even the biggest cases of previous patent and antitrust infringements, as reported by The Financial Times.
Qualcomm, on the other hand, denies wrongdoing and demands $ 7 billion in late payments from Apple and its suppliers (who were ordered by Apple to end payments), in addition to a $ 15 billion billion fine for damages.
In addition to the CEOs, the trial will be attended by other big names from the Cupertino giant, including Apple COO Jeff Williams and Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
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It remains for us to follow the course of the trial and to know, after all, who will be the great accused of this story. We will, of course, inform ourselves as soon as the results of that legal battle are released.
via 9to5Mac: 1, 2; AppleInsider