U.S. antitrust agency sues Qualcomm over patent licensing
By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday, accusing the company of using "anticompetitive" tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones. The FTC, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, said that San Diego-based Qualcomm used its dominant position as a supplier of certain phone chips to impose "onerous" supply and licensing terms on cellphone manufacturers and to weaken competitors. The complaint is likely the agency's last major action under current Democratic Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who will step down Feb. 10, and comes just days before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Friday.
Facebook's Zuckerberg questioned at trial over virtual-reality technology
By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Facebook Inc chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took the witness stand in Dallas federal court on Tuesday and denied an allegation by a rival company that the virtual-reality technology of Facebook's Oculus unit was stolen. Zuckerberg, the founder of one of the world's largest companies, faced hours of tough, public questioning about where Oculus obtained its ideas and how much he knew about the startup when Facebook bought it for $2 billion. A jury is hearing evidence in a civil lawsuit brought by videogame publisher ZeniMax Media Inc against Oculus in 2014, in the middle of the Facebook-Oculus deal.
After pound's fall, Apple to hike British app store prices
Tech giant Apple is set to raise the prices of its apps in Britain by around 25 percent after the steep drop in sterling following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Apps which currently cost British consumers 0.79 pounds ($0.97) will cost 0.99 pounds following the hike, which is set to take place over the next seven days. The move follows similar price rises in Apple hardware in September and October last year.
Samsung scion Lee faces court hearing on arrest warrant
Jay Y. Lee, the 48-year-old leader of the Samsung Group, is due to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday when a judge will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea. A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Lee, questioned last week for 22 straight hours at the prosecutor's office in Seoul, has denied wrongdoing.
Bitcoin exchange employee pleads guilty in U.S. case tied to hacking
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Florida man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from his employment with an unlicensed bitcoin exchange that prosecutors say was owned by an Israeli who oversaw a massive scheme to hack companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Ricardo Hill, 38, entered his plea in Manhattan federal court to seven counts, including conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, wire fraud and bank fraud. The Brandon, Florida-resident is one of nine people to face charges following an investigation connected to a data breach that JPMorgan disclosed in 2014 involving records for more than 83 million accounts. The charges against Hill stemmed from his employment as a finance support manager and business development consultant for an unlicensed bitcoin exchange called Coin.mx, according to court papers.
HP Enterprise to buy cloud software company SimpliVity
(Reuters) - Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co said on Tuesday it would buy privately held cloud software company SimpliVity for $650 million in cash, as it looks to expand in the fast-growing market for hybrid cloud platforms. The deal is expected to add to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's earnings in the first fiscal year after it is completed, the company said. Hybrid cloud platforms run applications that are based partly on the client's private servers and partly on public cloud data centers.
Why Tesla’s ambitious Model 3 may actually ship on time
With approximately 370,000 Model 3 reservations on the books, Tesla's manufacturing processes will need to be firing on all cylinders if it hopes to get the company's mass market EV to customers in a relatively timely manner. As it stands now, Tesla maintains that it will begin delivering Model 3 vehicles to early buyers by the end of the year. Specifically, Tesla is aiming to ship 100,000 Model 3 units before 2017 draws to a close. Of course, many industry observers are understandably skeptical of Tesla's timetable, if only because the company has a history of missing deadlines with respect to ship dates. The iconic Model S shipped later than expected and the company's newer Model X was also subject to a number of production delays. Consequently, many are taking Tesla's ambitious production schedule with respect to the Model 3 with a grain of salt. There may be good reason to be optimistic, though. Not only has Elon Musk said that the Model 3 is a less complex vehicle to manufacture, but Tesla's success has made it easier for the company to secure supply chain deals. Speaking to this point, Tesla's former Supply Chain chief Peter Carlsson recently explained during an appearance at the KPMG Automotive Executive Forum ( via Electrek ) how Tesla's ability to navigate the murky world of supply chain logistics has improved over the past few years and how this will positively impact Tesla's Model 3 production. As to Carlsson's specific background, he helped develop and orchestrate the supply chain for both the Model S and the Model X. "Things will get a bit easier," Carlsson said. "Tesla has resolved some issues through vertical integration — doing things internally. And with the launch of the Model 3, the volumes of the business will be more attractive, and I think we will see more suppliers relocate." Carlsson further explained that Tesla, during the initial production days of both the Model S and the Model X, did not have strong working relationships with suppliers which often made securing necessary parts in volume a challenge. Indeed, Elon Musk has previously said that Tesla's emergence as a brand that's here to stay -- as opposed to being a flash in the pan -- has made it easier for the company to secure important supply chain deals and engender trust with third parties. What's more, Musk a few months back said that suppliers, in the wake of Tesla Model 3 pre-orders shooting through the roof, are now angling for Tesla's business directly as opposed to rebuffing overtures from the company.
Qualcomm allegedly bribed Apple into not making a WiMAX iPhone
The FTC filed a blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm today, arguing that the chipmaker used its baseband processor patents to illegally force competitors out of the market. Anyway, a big part of the complaint has to do with Apple, and the fact that Qualcomm spent a lot of time working and reworking its deal with Cupertino to remain the exclusive provider of modems in the iPhone. The FTC says that in 2007, Qualcomm agreed to refund some of Apple’s patent royalty payments if Apple agreed not to make a WiMAX iPhone.