Jeff Kagan: Finally, Sanity in FTC vs. Qualcomm Case

Jeff Kagan  |

In the first step that actually makes sense in the FTC vs. Qualcomm case, three judges on the US Court of Appeals issued their decision. The court granted Qualcomm [ (QCOM)] a stay. While this case won’t be resolved until next year at the earliest, this is great news and a big step in the right direction for Qualcomm, and the entire wireless industry.

The historic and global transition to 5G wireless is just beginning and there are two global leaders in this space, Qualcomm and Huawei. Since the US Government is blocking Huawei from operating in the USA, that means Qualcomm is obviously necessary.

There are many other smaller competitors like Ericsson [ (ERIC)], but none is the same size and scope. They cannot step in and replace these leaders as the industry transforms.

Qualcomm is a global leader in wireless technology at all levels, and 5G is the next big step the industry is just starting to tackle. This stay lets the company continue to participate in this major industry-wide transformation.

That’s why the U.S. Court of Appeals stay is great news not only for Qualcomm, but for mobile operators all over the USA and in fact globally. The rollout of 5G can now move forward, unimpeded, as it should.

Court gave Qualcomm nearly everything they asked for

This stay gave Qualcomm nearly everything they asked for and lets them get back to work. In fact, it cleared up much of the confusion this case has caused over the last few years.

It focused on several key points, all in Qualcomm's favor.

Like the fact that several different US Government agencies like the Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Department of Energy have different opinions on the same issues in this case. Only the FTC has a problem.

It also said the Sherman Act in not applicable in this case, meaning the company is free to license its patents to whomever it chooses. There is no anti-trust issue. It also agreed with Qualcomm that irreparable harm to their business would occur if they were blocked.

Stay gives Qualcomm green light in 5G wireless

There are other key items as well, but you get the point. This stay gives Qualcomm the green light to continue in the race to 5G, and that is good news for the wireless industry.

This is good news for wireless investors as it finally clears up the confusion. This FTC case never really made sense to many industry watchers. In fact, it didn’t make sense to other US Government agencies either. At least clear minds are finally clearing the fog from this case.

The next step comes in January 2020. This is actually a rapid next step. A key next question is, which judges will preside in this next step?

I think this is a very complex and confusing case and these three are the only ones who seem to have an understanding of the issues and what needs to be done. Understanding the industry is key to being fair. So, I hope the same judges will be at the next hearing. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

The case won’t be resolved in January. This is just the next step. The ruling will still take many more months. Later in year at the earliest.

The hope is that clear minds will continue to prevail as they have here. The point is to understand, be fair and steer this train back on track. The sooner this is complete, the better it will be for the entire wireless industry.

Jeff Kagan is an columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, Influencer, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, pay TV, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay and communications technology. Email him at His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.


Equities Contributor: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: The author of this article, or a firm that employs the author, is a holder of the following securities mentioned in this article : none


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
ERIC Ericsson 9.08 0.00 0.00 4,630,208 Trade
QCOM QUALCOMM Incorporated 89.60 -0.43 -0.48 6,256,463 Trade



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