According to the CCIA, preventing Apple from importing iPhones made abroad would result in harm to consumers by enabling Qualcomm's anti-competitive behavior. CCIA President & CEO Ed Black gave the following statement on the issue:
"Qualcomm is already using its dominant position to pressure competitors and tax competing products. If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple, and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices.In its ongoing legal battle with Apple, Qualcomm in early July asked the U.S. ITC to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models that use Intel modem chips instead of Qualcomm chips.
"What's at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices. But even more critical is the principle of open competition that has been historically important to US economic success. The ITC has a choice whether to further reward anti-competitive behavior - or to reject this anti-free market, anti-consumer request."
Qualcomm requested the partial ban as part of a patent lawsuit that claims Apple devices infringe on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while charging.
The lawsuit and import ban request were both filed in retaliation for an ongoing royalty dispute between the two companies, which saw Apple sue Qualcomm back in January for charging unfair royalties and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. Since that date, the legal fight between the two companies has continued to escalate.