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Judge fines Apple for withholding evidence in Qualcomm case

Published Dec 25th, 2017 11:32AM EST
Apple vs. Qualcomm
Image: DENIS POROY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in an incredibly complex legal fight right now. They’re accusing each other of various patent infringements, but the primary battle is about royalties for the smartphone chips that allow the iPhone to connect to wireless networks.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Qualcomm in a separate but related case. The FTC is investigating the chipmaker’s business practices related to mobile chips. Qualcomm has been allegedly abusing its power, forcing Apple into exclusivity deals. Qualcomm was the subject of similar anti-trust investigations in other markets around the world, receiving hefty fines in various Asian markets.

That said, it’s Apple that will see the first punishment in the FTC’s case against Qualcomm.

A judge on Thursday decided to fine Apple $25,000 per day for withholding evidence, Bloomberg reports. That’s equal to the profit Apple made every 16 seconds in the last fiscal year.

What Apple apparently did was to fail to disclose documentation related to the Qualcomm case. The fine will increase if Apple fails to turn over the documents by December 29th.

Apple, meanwhile, said it had already produced more than 2.6 million documents by the December 15th deadline.

“We have already produced millions of documents for this case and are working hard to deliver the millions more which have been requested in an unprecedented time frame,” Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said. “We plan to appeal this ruling.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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