24 July 2017
Washington DC
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Tech companies rally around Apple


Samsung, Google and Microsoft are among 20 technology companies that have asked the US International Trade Commission (USITC) to reject Qualcomm’s bid to ban imports of the iPhone into the US.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), whose 22 members include Samsung, Google and Microsoft, claimed in a third-party statement to the USITC that enforcing a ban on Apple devices from entering the US would “harm consumers by enabling Qualcomm’s anti-competitive behaviour”.

Qualcomm filed its complaint with the USITC earlier this month, accusing Apple of illegally importing iPhones that infringe six of its patents.

The complaint was lodged in response to several anti-trust complaints from Apple, including a $1 billion lawsuit in the US and a separate accusation in China.

Apple is not a member of the CCIA, but it’s three key smartphone competitors, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, are.

CCIA president and CEO Ed Black said: “Qualcomm is already using its dominant position to pressure competitors and tax competing products.”

“If the USITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple, and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices.”

He added: “What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices. But even more critical is the principle of open competition that has been historically important to US economic success.

“The ITC has a choice whether to further reward anti-competitive behaviour—or to reject this anti-free market, anti-consumer request.”

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