Apple is suing Qualcomm, claiming that the chip maker is withholding over $1 billion in rebates for licensing fees from Apple. The company also accuses that Qualcomm of holding a monopoly on chips for wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Apple is demanding Qualcomm hand over money that was supposed to be a rebate for licensing fees. Qualcomm is holding back the money as punishment for Apple cooperating with Korean antitrust regulators, according to the complaint filed in San Diego, California, where Qualcomm is based.
Last month, South Korea fined Qualcomm 1.03 trillion won (about $890 million), describing the company's practices as monopolistic. Qualcomm is currently being sued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), while also under investigation by authorities in the European Union and Taiwan.
Qualcomm provides processors, wireless modems, and other chips to smartphone makers around the world. Apple notably makes use of the company's wireless modems, though the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus use wireless modems from Intel in certain models.
Update: Qualcomm has responded to Apple's lawsuit with the following statement from Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel:
While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple's claims are baseless. Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program. Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm's business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple's practices and a robust examination of the merits.