Four big-name Taiwanese tech firms have joined Apple in a legal war

The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Four Taiwanese firms in the Apple supply chain have joined the tech giant in an escalating legal battle against Qualcomm.

The firms — Compal Electronics, Hon Hai (Foxconn), Pegatron and Wistron Corp. — filed a suit in a U.S. district court late on Tuesday U.S. time, alleging antitrust breaches by Qualcomm.

It’s the latest twist in a long-running disagreement between Apple and Qualcomm.

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Apple sued the company in January, claiming that it was withholding almost US$1 billion in rebates for patent licenses in response to Apple aiding South Korean regulators’ investigation of Qualcomm practices, according to Reuters.

In retaliation, Apple told the four Taiwanese suppliers to stop paying license fees to Qualcomm. This prompted Qualcomm to file a suit against them in May, attempting to force them to resume payments.

In it, according to Dow Jones Newswires, Qualcomm argued that its licensing deals with the four firms were independent of Apple.

The latest action, taken Tuesday by the Taiwanese companies, is a response to Qualcomm’s lawsuit.

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” Reuters quoted Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, as saying in a statement.

“The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”