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Qualcomm Appeal Pits Government Lawyers Against Each Other (1)

Feb. 13, 2020, 6:39 PM

The U.S. government is on both sides of Qualcomm Inc.’s high-stakes fight to preserve its lucrative patent licensing business.

The dueling positions staked out by the agencies that police antitrust matters made for an unusual hearing Thursday before a federal appeals court that’s weighing whether the chipmaker must renegotiate billions of dollars in contracts with mobile phone makers, a prospect that’s terrifying to its investors.

The Justice Department supports Qualcomm’s effort to undo a 2019 ruling declaring its business model anti-competitive in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, an independent federal agency.

The Justice Department’s antitrust...

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