Apple, Qualcomm end all ongoing lawsuits, reach global supply agreement

Apple store.jpg
A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China.

Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday decided to drop all ongoing litigations and settle their royalty dispute, reaching an agreement on global patent license and chipset supply.

The settlement also includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, whose size the two companies did not disclose.

Shares of Qualcomm jumped 22 percent in late afternoon trading, while Apple share were up marginally.

Apple filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm in January of 2017, accusing the chipmaker of overcharging for chips and refusing to pay some $1 billion in promised rebates.

Later Qualcomm hit back with its own lawsuit, alleging that Apple used its heft in the electronics business to wrongly order contract factories such as Hon Hai Precision Co Ltd’s Foxconn to withhold royalty payments from Qualcomm that Apple had historically reimbursed to the factories.

As part of the settlement, Qualcomm will also end litigation with Apple’s contract manufacturers.

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The logo of Qualcomm is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Apple had alleged that Qualcomm’s patent practices were an illegal move to maintain a monopoly on the market for premium modem chips that connect smart phones to wireless data networks.

Apple’s iPhones earlier used to sport only Qualcomm’s modem chips, which help a device connect to wireless data networks. With the launch of iPhone 7 in 2016, Apple started using Intel modem chips in some models instead.

Qualcomm told investors in July it believed its modem chips were completely removed from the newest generation of iPhones released in September, leaving Intel as the sole supplier.

Teardowns of the new devices have confirmed that Intel is supplying the modem chips.

Shares of Intel, Qualcomm’s main competitor for supplying modem chips to Apple, trimmed gains to be up marginally at $56.42.

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