Intel Says Qualcomm Tactics Forced It to Sell Its Modem Business to Apple at a ‘Multi-Billion Dollar’ Loss

Posted on November 30, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Hardware, Mobile with 8 Comments

Intel announced on Friday the company will be supporting the FTC in the ongoing appeal by Qualcomm. Back in May, the FTC found Qualcomm to be using anti-competitive tactics to push its competitors out of business, and Intel is supporting FTC’s decision.

The company filed a brief on Friday, stating that it sold its smartphone modem business to Apple back in July at a multi-billion dollar loss because of Qualcomm’s anti-competitive tactics.

“Intel suffered the brunt of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive behavior, was denied opportunities in the modem market, was prevented from making sales to customers and was forced to sell at prices artificially skewed by Qualcomm,” the company wrote in a separate blog post.

The chipmaker said that it had invested billions, hired thousands, and acquired two companies to build its word-class modem products, and fought for “nearly a decade” to build its modem chip business. The company argued its business couldn’t succeed because of the anti-competitive tactics used by Qualcomm that it says was “carefully crafted and implemented over many years”.

Qualcomm has, of course, denied FTC’s accusations. Intel is hoping the company’s new brief will help clarify the “harm” Qualcomm’s anti-competitive has caused. “We hope our amicus brief will help in clarifying the full extent of the harm that Qualcomm’s unlawful behavior has caused and will continue to cause if left unchecked,” the company said.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Intel Says Qualcomm Tactics Forced It to Sell Its Modem Business to Apple at a ‘Multi-Billion Dollar’ Loss”

  1. jchampeau

    I know nothing about this case really, but it seems to me that, at least to some extent, if Intel had just made better modems they would have been better able to compete with Qualcomm. I remember reading that Apple was intentionally hobbling their Qualcomm-based iPhones so they would match the lower-performing Intel-based iPhones and users would get the same experience no matter which modem their particular device had.

  2. proesterchen

    It's not just Intel that has suffered at Qualcomm's hand. The entirety of the Android SOC market is hamstrung by their levering of mobile communication IP into selling their crappy SOCs.

  3. Greg Green

    Intel really seems to be having a number of problems. Stuck on 14nm for years; AMD finally catches up with them on core speed, beats them on core count, multi core performance; cpu shortages; Amazon making cloud chips; arm making laptop chips; intel ceo unexpectedly steps down; spectre, etc; interim ceo doesn’t want be permanent ceo; intel can’t find anyone who wants to be ceo so convinces interim ceo to be permanent ceo; and now whining about their inadequate modem chips.

    Soon I expect they’ll be whining about the uncompetitive practices in gpus as practiced by nvidia and AMD as intel gpus fail to perform as expected.

  4. reefer

    Intel complaining about anti-competitive tactics? That´s hillarious.

  5. MikeCerm

    Qualcomm is monopolizing the phone market exactly the same way that Intel did with laptops. Intel used to just make CPUs, but then starting sometime in the 2000s, you couldn't get an Intel CPU without an Intel chipset, Intel Wi-Fi, Intel graphics, etc.

    Fact is, in phones especially, there's just not a lot of room for chips in there, so there's actually a lot of benefit to integrating the modem, CPU, and everything else. Intel gave up on that market when they canceled their mobile Atom CPUs. It's why Apple bought that modem tech from Intel: so Apple could build modems directly into their CPUs. It was dumb to think Intel was ever going to make money from their cellular modem business going without any other mobile tech to support it. Because of how cellular carriers work, no one is ever going to buy Windows laptops with integrated modems except for maybe a few road warriors.

  6. dallasnorth40

    Boo Hoo, poor little Intel. Nobody is going to feel sorry for them.

  7. glenn8878

    Being slow to market is your own fault. The market can’t wait for Intel’s failure. And where’s 7mm chips?

  8. melinau

    Pot & Kettle if you ask me!

    Corporations like Intel, which has enjoyed quasi-monopolistic power in certain areas should not complain when they get lazy, and someone else makes a better 'mousetrap'. That's supposedly Capitalism 101, survival of the fittest & all that jazz. Intel completely missed the boat with all things Mobile, and is now paying the price.

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