By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to pause the enforcement of a sweeping antitrust ruling against mobile chip supplier Qualcomm Inc
"For DoD, Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm's critical role in 5G technology in the short term," Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary for Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, wrote in a filing made in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Qualcomm, the largest supplier of modem chips that connect smartphones to wireless data networks, on May 21 lost in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent-licensing practices to keep a monopoly on the mobile chip market. Koh ordered Qualcomm to licence its technology to rival chipmakers, which include firms like Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc.
Qualcomm has been fighting to have the ruling put on hold while it pursues an appeal. The San Diego, California, company has argued that letting the ruling stand could upend its talks with phone makers over chips for 5G, the next generation of wireless data networks.
Koh declined to pause the ruling, bringing the case before the 9th Circuit.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang and Sonya Hepinstall)
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Updated Date: Jul 17, 2019 05:05:53 IST