(Reuters) — iPhone chip supplier Qualcomm faces a fresh set of antitrust allegations from a group of four companies that assemble the iPhone and other products on behalf of Apple.
Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, Wistron Corp, Compal Electronics, and Pegatron Corp alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a U.S. antitrust law.
The accusations, made in a filing late Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, are counterclaims to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in May seeking to force the contractors to pay Qualcomm license fees that Apple directed them to stop paying.
“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,” Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, said in a statement.
“The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”
The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, which supplies so-called modem chip technology that lets iPhones connect to cellular data networks, over the nature of Qualcomm’s business model of linking the sale of chips and patent licenses, which has come under scrutiny by regulators in South Korea, the United States and several other countries.