Qualcomm headquarters in Sorrento Valley
Qualcomm headquarters in Sorrento Valley. Courtesy of the company

Qualcomm‘s battle with the Federal Trade Commission picked up strong support in The Wall Street Journal Monday as the antitrust case headed for federal appeals court.

The editorial board of the leading U.S. business newspaper wrote that the San Diego-based wireless pioneer faced “irreparable harm” from a lower court order and FTC attorneys “running wild” on the case.

“The FTC should drop the case before it loses on the merits,” the newspaper said in the editorial.

In May, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose upheld an FTC decision that Qualcomm must stop bundling patent licensing with its chip sales — so-called “no license, no chips” deals.

But last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed much of that order, ruling that Qualcomm had demonstrated a reasonable chance of winning its appeal and that Koh’s decision risked significantly harming the company. Opening arguments in the appeals case are set to begin in January.

“The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted Qualcomm a reprieve from a lower-court order that would have knee-capped America’s 5G innovation,” the Journal editors wrote. “Let’s hope the Federal Trade Commission will take the point and walk away.”

Qualcomm shares were trading over $74 on Wall Street shortly after markets opened, up nearly 1 percent.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.