U.S. trade regulator will not appeal Qualcomm case to Supreme Court

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A sign on the Qualcomm campus is seen in San Diego

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission said on Monday it would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review its appeals court loss against Qualcomm Inc, which the agency had accused of breaking antitrust law in selling chips for smartphones.

In October, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not rehear arguments over whether the San Diego, California-based company had engaged in anticompetitive patent-licensing practices to keep a monopoly on the market for modem chips that connect smart phones to wireless data networks. A three-judge panel on that court had ruled in August that the FTC failed to prove its case.

In a statement, Acting FTC Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter noted "significant headwinds facing the Commission in this matter" in deciding to not petition the Supreme Court.

"I continue to believe that the district court's conclusion that Qualcomm violated the antitrust laws was entirely correct and that the court of appeals erred in concluding otherwise," she added.

Speaking for Qualcomm, General Counsel Don Rosenberg said: "We are pleased that the case is over and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's unanimous decision stands."

"Now, more than ever, we must preserve the fundamental incentives to innovate and compete," he added.

(This story corrects after company clarifies name of court in penultimate paragraph is Ninth Circuit not Ninth District)

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)